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  • U.S. Consumers Had Short-Term Response to First BSE Announcements

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    ERS researchers compared household-level retail food purchases of three types of beef products before and after the 2003 U.S. government announcements of finding two North American cows infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) to see if consumers reduced their purchases of those products, and, if so, for how long. Food purchase data reveal that the response of U.S. consumers to those announcements was limited and dissipated within 2 weeks.

  • Did BSE Announcements Reduce Beef Purchases?

    ERR-34, December 29, 2006

    ERS examines retail purchases of beef and beef products for evidence of response to the 2003 government announcements of finding cows infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).

  • Farmland Protection: The Role of Public Preferences for Rural Amenities

    AER-815, April 28, 2005

    Investigates the relative importance of preserving different amenities conserved by farmland protection programs. Examines farmland protection program enabling legislation in the 48 contiguous States, and implementation of these programs in five Northeastern States.

  • Current Issues in Economics of Food Markets

    AIB-747, August 13, 2004

    These reports synthesize economic analyses of the complex relationships in food markets of interest to officials responsible for public policy, decisionmakers in the industry, and researchers. Topics addressed so far include the economizing practices of low-income households in making food purchases, the increasing vertical coordination and integration of the industry, the link between consolidation of retailers and orange juice prices, the effects of a higher minimum wage on food prices, how taxes affect food markets, and lessons learned from the use of rbST in dairy production.

  • U.S. Fresh Produce Markets: Marketing Channels, Trade Practices, and Retail Pricing Behavior

    AER-825, September 23, 2003

    Retail consolidation, technological change in production and marketing, and growing consumer demand have altered the traditional market relationships between producers, wholesalers, and retailers.

  • Information Sways Consumers' Attitudes Towards Biotech Foods

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2003

    Labeling of biotech foods has been a contentious issue in the U.S. and between the U.S. and its trading partners. Proponents of mandatory biotech food labeling argue that consumers have a right to know how their food has been produced. Opponents argue that such labeling will confuse and, in many cases, unnecessarily alarm consumers. In the U.S., when biotechnology introduces a known allergen or substantially changes a food’s nutritional content or composition, Federal regulations require that the label indicate this change. So far, no biotech foods on the market have required labeling.

  • The Effects of Information on Consumer Demand for Biotech Foods: Evidence from Experimental Auctions

    TB-1903, April 04, 2003

    Consumers' willingness to pay for food products decreases when the food label indicates that a food product is produced with the aid of modern biotechnology. This bulletin presents empirical evidence on consumers' willingness to pay for biotech foods based on the presence or absence of labels advising that the food was prepared with the aid of biotechnology. The authors designed and conducted an experimental auction to elicit consumers' willingness to pay for "genetically modified" (GM)-labeled and standard-labeled foods under different information regimes. The evidence gathered for vegetable oil, tortilla chips, and potatoes shows that labels matter. In particular, under all information treatments, consumers discounted food items labeled "GM" by an average of 14 percent. While gender, income, and other demographic characteristics appeared to have only a slight impact on consumers' willingness to pay for biotech foods, information from interested parties and third-party (independent) sources was found to have a strong impact.

  • Investing in People: Assessing the Economic Benefits of 1890 Institutions

    MP-1583, April 01, 2002

    The report examines the historical USDA funding levels of 1890 institutions; discusses the outcomes of these investments and potential measurable indicators of these outcomes; and outlines a conceptual model for estimating returns to investment in education tailored to particularities of the 1890's.

  • Food Security Assessment GFA12

    GFA-12, February 26, 2001

    USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) projects that average per capita food consumption for 67 low-income countries will increase in the next decade. ERS also projects that the number of people failing to meet their nutritional requirements will decline from 774 million in 2000 to 694 million in 2010, providing an improved outlook for global food security. But the gains are not uniform across countries and in many food insecurity will probably intensify. Sub-Saharan Africa, as the most vulnerable region, accounts for only 24 percent of the population of these 67 countries, but it is projected to account for 63 percent of these hungry people in 2010. HIV/AIDS is expected to reduce the region's agricultural productivity, and constraints in financial resources will limit commercial imports, thus leading to declining per capita consumption.

  • Partial Interests in Land: Policy Tools for Resource Use and Conservation

    AER-744, November 29, 1996

    Property rights arise out of law, custom, and the operation of private markets, with important implications for how land and other natural resources are used and conserved. Over the past several years, debate about the nature and scope of property rights has combined with budget concerns and reauthorization of the Farm Bill, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act to focus public attention on Federal natural resource policy. This report examines the nature of land ownership and the evolving Federal role in land use and conservation, with particular attention to the voluntary acquisition and conveyance of conservation easements and other partial interests in land.