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Consumers' Resistance to Genetically Modified Foods: The Role of Information in an Uncertain Environment

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  • Huffman, Wallace E.
  • Rousu, M.C.
  • Shogren, Jason F.
  • Tegene, Abebayehu

Abstract

Genetically modified (GM) foods have been engulfed in considerable controversy, and the early optimism has been dampened. Information issues--labeling and asymmetric information--are central to the GM-food debate. Furthermore, it is important to understand the reaction in developed countries to GM-foods because they set the tone of the world market in grains, oilseeds, and animal products. New results are reported from a statistical analysis of the market characteristics that push consumers in a high-income country to resist GM foods, with an emphasis on negative information from environmental groups and third-party, verifiable information, which could neutralize private information distributed by interested parties. A unique sample of adult consumers participated in laboratory auctions of three food products with randomized labeling and information treatments. A key finding is that GM information supplied by environmental groups increases the probability that consumers are out of the market for GM-foods. Third-party verifiable information, however, dissipates most of the negative effect of the environmental group perspective. Selective adoption of GM crops seems likely to raise world welfare but Western Europe's banning of GM imports and technology will largely affect them negatively.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12339.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2004
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization 2004, vol. 2, Article 8, pp. 1-13
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12339

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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Cited by:
  1. Dhar, Tirtha Pratim & Foltz, Jeremy D., 2003. "Market Structure And Consumer Valuation In The Rbst-Free And Organic Milk Markets," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22177, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  2. Bharat Ramaswami & Sangeeta Bansal & Sujoy Chakravarty, 2013. "The Informational and signaling impacts of labels: Experimental evidence from India on GM foods," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 13-01, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  3. Liu, Pengcheng & Huang, Chung-Huang & Feng, Zhongchao & Zhou, Deyi, 2009. "Consumer’s choice on GM labeling: evidences from China," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51807, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Onyango, Benjamin M. & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr. & Govindasamy, Ramu, 2005. "U.S. Consumers' Willingness to Pay for Labeling Information on Genetically Modified Foods: An Application of Choice Modeling," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19490, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Dhar, Tirtha Pratim & Foltz, Jeremy D., 2004. "Is Soy Milk? The Economics Of The Soy Milk Market," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20337, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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