Tokyo A senior Japanese agriculture official criticized the United States on Monday for refusing a request from a small U.S. meatpacking company to test all of its slaughtered cattle for mad cow disease.
Last week, the U.S. Agriculture Department rejected Creekstone Farms Premium Beef's application for certification to test every animal for mad cow disease at its Arkansas City, Kan., slaughterhouse.
Japan has banned American beef since the first U.S. case of mad cow was discovered in December. Tokyo has said it hoped to discuss with Washington the possibility of blanket testing for mad cow initiated by the private sector.
"The U.S. government's decision not to accept the company's offer is, frankly speaking, regrettable," Vice Agriculture Minister Mamoru Ishihara said.
Tokyo says it won't allow U.S. beef back into the country until Washington starts testing every slaughtered cow for the brain-wasting illness.