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Abstract

Fish is a low-fat protein source high in omega-3 fatty acids, but in 2004 consumers also heard that farmed salmon had high levels of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs). This research evaluated how Canadian consumers and processors reacted to the conflicting health messages. Demand estimates and time-series analysis of 2001-2006 frozen meat scanner data in Alberta, Canada show a significant drop in salmon expenditure share following the PCB finding. The industry responded by launching low-priced wild salmon products, which contributed to significant demand expansion. The analysis illustrates how a food safety threat was averted and even served as a catalyst for growth.

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