Japan to allow more U.S. beef

Japan is set to ease a decade-old restriction on U.S. beef this week, finally allowing U.S. ranchers and meatpackers to move past the mad-cow scare and regain full access to what was once their most lucrative market.

A Japanese government council that oversees food and drug safety cleared a change in import regulations Monday that would permit imports of meat from U.S. cattle aged 30 months or younger, rather than the current 20 months, according to materials distributed at the council’s meeting in Tokyo.

Bans remain on parts of cattle considered to carry a higher risk of transmitting the disease.