A university study found media coverage of animal welfare issues hurts demand for pork and poultry, but has little to no effect on beef demand.
The new study by economists at Kansas State University and Purdue University looked at US newspapers’ and magazines’ coverage from 1982 to 2008.
The research found that increased media attention caused a reallocation of consumer expenditures to non-meat foods rather than from one meat to another.
The economists were able to document effects on pork and poultry demand, but not beef, according to a press release announcing the study.
“While beef demand was found to not be directly influenced by increased media attention to animal welfare issues, this should not be interpreted as the beef industry being immune,” said Glynn Tonsor, a Kansas State agricultural economist, in the release.
Tonsor said more research was needed to determine the effects on consumers, livestock producers and society in general.