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Abstract

A wide array of food safety scares and breakdowns have led to loss of consumer confidence in the quality and safety of beef products. To counteract such concerns, firms and regulators have the ability to utilize brands or labels to signal quality. Utilizing a mail survey in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, we analyzed consumer preferences for alternative beef labeling strategies. Using an ordered probit model and a double bounded logit model, we estimate consumer preferences for alternative beef labeling programs. In general, results suggest that consumers have more confidence in government mandated labels as opposed to private brands. French and German consumers place a higher level of importance on brands and labels than do UK consumers. Results also suggest that more than 90% of surveyed consumers desire a mandatory labeling program for beef produced from cattle fed genetically modified crops.

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