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Japan won't lift ban on Canadian beef

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OTTAWA, Jul 13, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Canadian agriculture officials are stymied over Japan's refusal to lift an embargo on beef, a report said Sunday.

Federal Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief failed to persuade Japan Saturday to start importing Canadian beef again even though officials insist the animals are free of mad cow disease, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

"I'm frustrated that scientific data isn't getting through to the world," Vanclief told reporters after an 80-minute meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Yoshiyuki Kamei, in Ottawa.

"He wasn't clear on his concerns, quite frankly," Vanclief said.

Japan, the United States and several other countries imposed a ban on Canadian beef after a single cow in the province of Alberta was discovered to have bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, in May.

An international team of scientists concluded there's no evidence that other cattle in Canada have the brain-wasting disease.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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