US Still Eating Beef
Despite Mad Cow Case


HONOLULU (Reuters) - Few Americans have changed their beef-eating habits despite discovery of the first U.S. case of mad cow disease, according to a poll released on Monday by the largest U.S. farm group.
The survey of 1,000 consumers, conducted on Saturday and Sunday by the American Farm Bureau Federation, found 74 percent have not changed their beef consumption. Another 15 percent said they were eating less beef while 7 percent said they were eating more.
"Consumers are largely standing behind America's beef producers," said Bob Stallman, president of the 5.5 million-member American Farm Bureau Federation.
The farm group plans to conduct three more weekly polls to track consumer confidence in beef, a spokesman said.
The survey was conducted by IPSOS U.S. Express for the Farm Bureau. It asked people how they described their beef-eating habits in the past two weeks.
The U.S. Agriculture Department announced discovery of a Holstein cow with mad cow disease in Washington state on Dec. 23.
The survey results showed:
-- 74 percent said beef consumption was roughly the same.
-- 5 percent said consumption was up slightly.
-- 2 percent said consumption was up significantly.
-- 7 percent said consumption was down slightly.
-- 8 percent said consumption was down significantly.
-- 4 percent said they did not eat beef or didn't know.
The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 4 percent.
A Farm Bureau spokesman said the results were similar to those reported by a cattle industry group in the past week.
Copyright © 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.




This Site Served by TheHostPros