米産牛肉輸入 規制緩和は現実的な判断だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 4, 2012)
Easing import restrictions on U.S. beef justifiable
米産牛肉輸入 規制緩和は現実的な判断だ(11月3日付・読売社説)

Although it appears a little belated, a judgment the government has now made can safely be called a realistic approach based on scientific knowledge and international trends in connection with an important issue.
 遅きに失した感はあるが、科学的知見と国際動向を踏まえた現実的な判断と言えよう。

The Cabinet Office's Food Safety Commission is in favor of the planned easing of current regulations on imports of U.S.-produced beef, which have been part of measures to protect against bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease.
 内閣府・食品安全委員会が、BSE(牛海綿状脳症)対策で実施されている米国産牛肉の輸入規制を緩和する方針を了承した。

In the proposed regulatory easing, imports will be allowed for beef from cattle "30 months of age or younger," compared to the current maximum age of 20 months.
The commission has reasonably concluded that the easing of import restrictions "will hardly increase the BSE risks and its effect on human health should be considered negligible."
 輸入対象を「月齢20か月以下」から「30か月以下」に広げる。条件を緩めても「リスクの差は小さく、健康への影響は無視できる」と結論付けたのは妥当だ。

Immediately after the outbreak of BSE-infected cattle was confirmed in 2003 in the United States, Japan suspended imports of U.S. beef.
 米国で2003年にBSE感染が確認されたのを受け、日本は米国産牛肉の輸入を停止した。

In 2005, the government gave the go-ahead to the resumption of beef imports from the United States on condition that imports would be allowed only for beef from cattle "20 months of age or younger" with the nerve tissues called specific risk material, where BSE-causing prion molecules tend to concentrate, having been removed.
05年に、「20か月以下」で原因物質がたまりやすい危険部位を除去した牛に限って再開していた。
===

Linkage with TPP talks

BSE is said to occur when prions, aberrant proteins, accumulate in cattle's brain, spinal cord and other places.
 BSEは、たんぱく質の一種が異常化し、脳や脊髄などに蓄積されて発生する。

The disease has been transmitted primarily through the use of cattle feed that includes meat and bone meal made from other cattle. BSE-infected cattle numbered 37,000 worldwide in the peak year of 1992.
感染牛の肉骨粉を飼料に使ったことから広がり、ピークの1992年には世界で3万7000頭に達した。

The numbers of cattle developing BSE, however, decreased year after year, falling to just 29 in 2011. This is because strict anti-BSE measures adopted by countries concerned produced excellent results.
 しかし、発生頭数は年々減少し、昨年は29頭にとどまった。各国が導入した厳しい飼料規制が効果を上げたのだろう。

The criterion of "cattle 30 months of age or younger" has become a standard part of many major countries' beef import regulations.
 主要国の輸入規制は「30か月以下」が標準だ。

As BSE threats shrink worldwide, there appears to be no necessity for Japan alone to continue to impose stricter regulations.
世界的に沈静化したのに、日本だけが厳しい規制を続ける必要性は薄れている。

Opposition to regulatory easing by some consumer groups on the ground that it will "threaten food safety" is unpersuasive.
 一部の消費者団体などが、「食の安全が脅かされる」として緩和に反対しているのは、説得力を欠くのではないか。

The issue of Japan's readiness to ease beef import restrictions has been intertwined with the issue of Japan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, and Washington has paid close attention to the beef import issue.
 牛肉の輸入規制緩和は、日本の環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉参加に関連し、米国が強い関心を示していた問題でもある。

The government should make steady efforts to ease beef import restrictions for the sake of early participation in the TPP talks.
政府は着実に実施することで、交渉参加も急ぐべきだ。

The government at the same time must review the BSE inspection system for domestic beef.
 併せて、国産牛の検査体制の見直しも必要である。

===

Review all cattle inspections

Japan's first known occurrence of BSE-stricken cattle was in 2001, and a total of 36 domestically produced cattle have so far been confirmed to be infected with the disease. No outbreak of BSE, however, has been reported after fiscal 2008.
 国内では01年に初めてBSEが発生し、これまで36頭が確認されたが、09年度以降はゼロだ。

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry asked the World Health Organization in September to change Japan's BSE risk status from a "country with controlled risk" to that of a "country with negligible risk."
 農林水産省は今年9月、日本のBSE発生リスクの分類を「リスクが管理された国」から「リスクが無視できる国」にするよう国際機関に申請した。

Regarding domestic beef, the Food Safety Commission has approved easing the range of cattle subject to BSE checks from "21 months of age or older" to "31 months of age or older." The regulation should be eased further.
 食品安全委員会も、国産牛の検査対象について、「月齢21か月以上」から「31か月以上」への緩和を了承したが、もう一段の緩和が求められよう。

Only Japan and the European Union conduct BSE checks in the process of cattle slaughter. Cattle subject to the checks in the EU are those "older than 72 months of age," far less stringent in Japan.
 食肉処理時の検査を実施しているのは日本と欧州連合(EU)のみだ。EUは基本的に「72か月超」と条件が日本より緩い。

Currently, there is no national legal obligation for domestic beef cattle 20 months of age or younger to undergo BSE checks, but local governments all over the country have continued to make all cattle subject to the inspections at their own discretion.
 現在、20か月以下の牛は検査を義務付けられていないが、全国の自治体が独自に全頭検査を続けている。

Considering the time and expense required to conduct the inspections, the wisdom of local governments continuing to check all cattle should be reconsidered.
費用と労力を考えれば、全頭検査も見直すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 3, 2012)
(2012年11月3日01時30分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-11-05 06:02 | 英字新聞

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