Consumer Acceptance of Biotechnology: Lessons From the rbST Experience

The controversial introduction of rbST, a laboratory version of bST, a growth hormone that stimulates milk production in cows, may provide hopeful lessons for other foods produced by biotechnology. Milk sales remained steady after rbST became available to dairy farmers, even though a multitude of public opinion surveys documented widespread concern about food safety and biotechnology, and some analysts predicted a drop in milk consumption of up to 20 percent. The undiminished consumer demand for milk may indicate that consumers will also accept other animal food products from biotechnology. The rbST experience suggests that, while scientific evidence of food safety will not prevent controversy over biotech foods, controversy will not necessarily inhibit consumer demand for the food.

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Agriculture Information Bulletin Number 747-01; Current Issues in Economics of Food Markets

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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