The Yomiuri Shimbun Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Dec. 23--TOKYO -- The Japanese food industry is starting to realize how badly it has been hit by the effects of a ban placed on imports of U.S. beef nearly a year ago following the detection of cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, in the United States.
Hardest hit were restaurants serving beef dishes such as gyudon, a bowl of rice with seasoned beef, since U.S. supplies accounted for about one-third of domestic beef consumption.
Although the Japanese and U.S. governments are negotiating to resume beef imports, the outcome looks unpromising.
Some restaurants have switched, or are switching, to supplies from Australia and other beef-producing countries, which further dim prospects for U.S. beef to reenter the domestic market.