The price of different sources varies for several reasons. There is a perception that countries like the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand have stricter controls on meat processing than second and third world countries, creating a greater demand and commanding higher prices. An additional misconception is that Australia and New Zealand are safer sources because of their geographic isolation. Australian origin serum must be tested for different viruses, like Akabane, which is not endemic in many other FBS sources.
Historically many large commercial manufacturers have required Australia and N.Z. origin serum and recently have allowed U.S. origin serum, creating an additional demand on the available serum supply. The extra market has created a more significant burden on the serum supply, pushing up pricing.
The limitation of the available supply from USDA-approved sources to the United States has increased U.S. pricing. Brazilian FBS, which the USDA does not currently approve, is accepted throughout Europe and many Far East countries but is not allowed in the United States because of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) prevalence. Countries with cases of FMD are the most inexpensive sources of FBS.