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Evaluating Consumer Response to GM Foods: Some Methodological Considerations

Author

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  • Marks, Leonie A.
  • Kalaitzandonakes, Nicholas G.
  • Vickner, Steven S.

Abstract

In 1998 the European Union placed a moratorium on the planting of transgenic crops within its borders. The resulting ban on biotech crops has led to the current trans-Atlantic trade dispute between the United States and the EU. At the heart of this dispute is the issue of consumer acceptance. The EU’s current position is predicated on perceived public concerns about biotech foods which found a voice in numerous opinion polls conducted during the late 1990s (e.g., European Commission, 1997, 2000). Such concerns have also been amplified by intense media coverage and resulting political activism. Given the pivotal role that consumer opinion has played in recent EU policy, an understanding of how consumers value biotech foods is critical to informed policymaking. To date three main approaches have been used to gauge how consumers might respond to genetically modified (GM) foods if they were labeled as such. Opinion or attitudinal surveys are one approach. Two other approaches that are also being used are choice experiments and experimental (auction) market methods. This paper provides a brief overview of each approach, their predictions regarding consumer willingness to pay(WTP) for biotech foods, and their potential advantages and pitfalls in predicting actual consumer behavior in the market place.

Suggested Citation

  • Marks, Leonie A. & Kalaitzandonakes, Nicholas G. & Vickner, Steven S., 2003. "Evaluating Consumer Response to GM Foods: Some Methodological Considerations," CAFRI: Current Agriculture, Food and Resource Issues, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, issue 04.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cafric:45731
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/45731
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Huffman, Wallace & Rousu, Matthew & Shogren, Jason F. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2002. "Should the United States Regulate Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Modified Foods?," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10047, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Shin, Seung Youll & Kliebenstein, James & Hayes, Dermot J. & Shogren, Jason F., 1992. "Consumer Willingness to Pay for Safer Food Products," Staff General Research Papers Archive 546, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Schilling, Brian J. & Hallman, William K. & Adelaja, Adesoji O. & Marxen, Lucas J., 2002. "Consumer Knowledge Of Food Biotechnology: A Descriptive Study Of U.S. Residents," Working Papers 18183, Rutgers University, Food Policy Institute.
    4. Huffman, Wallace E. & Rousu, Matthew C. & Shogren, Jason F. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2002. "Should The United States Initiate A Mandatory Labeling Policy For Genetically Modified Foods?," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19857, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kiesel Kristin & Villas-Boas Sofia B, 2007. "Got Organic Milk? Consumer Valuations of Milk Labels after the Implementation of the USDA Organic Seal," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-40, April.
    2. Villas-Boas, Sofia B & Taylor, Rebecca & Krovetz, Hannah, 2016. "Willingness to Pay for Low Water Footprint Food Choices During Drought," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt9vh3x180, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    3. Alessandro Olper & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "Mass Media and Public Policy: Global Evidence from Agricultural Policies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, pages 413-436.
    4. repec:ags:jrapmc:122316 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Charlier, Christophe & Valceschini, Egizio, 2008. "Importance and Limits of the Cost-Benefit Analysis for GMOs Regulation," 110th Seminar, February 18-22, 2008, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 49839, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Kiesel, Kristin, 2008. ""A Definition at Last, but What Does It All Mean?"—Newspaper Coverage of the USDA Organic Seal and its Effects on Food Purchases-," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6351, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    7. Kiesel, Kristin, 2012. "“A Definition at Last, But What Does it All Mean?†Newspaper Coverage of Organic Food Production and its Effects on Milk Purchases," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(1), April.

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