Cornyn and Hutchison Fight for Cattle Producers

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Both Texas senators have told state cattle producers that they'll press to reopen Japan to US beef exports.

In December, Japan lifted a ban on American beef imposed after the first US case of mad cow disease in 2003. Until then, Japan was the top foreign buyer of American beef, accounting for around one-point-four (B) billion dollars in sales in 2003.

But Japan renewed the ban in January after inspectors found cuts of US veal containing backbone, which is banned in Japan as a mad-cow threat.

US Senator John Cornyn told the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association the ban "amounts to protectionist policies dressed up to look like concern" for mad cow disease.

He and fellow Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison also discussed help for those affected by the recent Texas Panhandle wildfires. Eleven people died and thousands of head of livestock were killed in the fires.