November 24, 2008
If a case of bird flu breaks out in the US, consumers will cut back on consumption, according to a survey done by Kansas State University (KSU) which surveyed 2,000 people.
The survey asked how respondents' poultry consumption would change if bird flu is to occur in Montana. Participants came from Wichita and Los Angeles - 1,000 in each city - to find out their reactions to various food safety situations.
According to Sean Fox, a KSU agricultural economics professor who supervised the research, seventy percent of Wichitans said their consumption would not change, whereas 50 percent from Los Angeles said they would change their consumption patterns. Fourteen percent of Los Angeles respondents said they would stop consuming poultry entirely while only 7 percent in Wichita said they would do so.
The objective of the survey was to also forecast what the price reduction would be through an estimate of the demand reduction.
In addition, the survey asked if respondents are less likely to buy a food product which killed p pathogenic bacteria through irradiation. Wichita respondents were more open to buying such a product than respondents from Los Angeles.
The survey also showed that Wichita respondents like cheaper meats from animals treated with antibiotics, while Los Angeles respondents are willing to pay a higher price for antibiotic-free meats.