Cattlemen's Day, 2003; Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station contribution; no. 03-272-S; Report of progress (Kansas State University. Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service); 908; Beef; Food irradiation; Consumer preference


The effect of consumer information about food irradiation and the source of the information was studied through a survey mailed to 400 residents each of Manhattan and Topeka, Kansas. Two-thirds of the surveys contained a brochure providing answers to frequently asked questions about irradiation, one-third did not. Half of the informational brochures were altered to suggest they were from industry, half from the government. The survey questioned consumer choice between irradiated and non-irradiated ground beef patties, with price differentials from 10 cents/lb to 40 cents/lb costlier for irradiated patties. A greater price differential resulted in less preference for irradiated beef patties. The informational brochure increased the choice of irradiated patties, with that from a "government source" rather than an "industry source" being more effective (57% compared to 51%).

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