Lean finely textured beef fallout could last up to six months | TSLN.com

Lean finely textured beef fallout could last up to six months

Rita Jane Gabbett, Meatingplace.com

The impact of media and social media attention to lean finely textured beef (LFTB) and similar products could last up to six months, predicted Kansas State University Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics Glynn Tonsor.

In an analysis posted as part of the “In the Cattle Markets” series on the Livestock Marketing Information Center Web site, Tonsor looked at research projects that have examined the meat demand impact of consumers receiving meat-related information – including medical journal articles on cholesterol, iron and zinc – and media attention to such topics as high-protein diets, meat recalls and animal well-being issues.

Tonsor concluded when the public received increases in this type of information it led to impacts on aggregate meat demand estimated to last “one or perhaps two quarters.”

He also looked at the 2009 impact of media coverage of the H1N1 virus on the pork industry, noting parallels with coverage of LFTB in that both were characterized by extensive media attention involving debated and prevalently circulated “catchy” phrases. Both cases also involve situations where several industry experts contend there was not scientific basis for public concern,

Tonsor noted one study estimated the H1N1 coverage had adverse economic impacts spanning about four months.

Taking all of these studies into account, Tonsor concluded that “existing literature would suggest a negative demand impact duration of 3-6 months may be expected in the LFTB situation.”

To read his full analysis, go to the Livestock Marketing Information Center.

– Reprinted with permission from Meatingplace