Japan Raises Cattle Age Limit

A Japanese governmental food safety panel approved on Wednesday a plan to raise the age limit for exempting domestic cattle from testing for mad cow disease until they reach 48 months, up from the current 30 months, Kyodo News reported.

The expert panel of the Food Safety Commission under the Cabinet Office concluded that the higher age limit for tests for the disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, would not have negative health effects.

The approval came after the exemption threshold for testing domestic cattle for mad cow disease was raised Monday from 21 months to up to 30 months.

The panel will formally suggest the new inspection threshold to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry after public consultations. The ministry will then start revising a related ministerial ordinance to reflect the change.

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