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Consumer attitudes toward GM food with hypothetical functional characteristics

  • Marin, Floriana
  • Notaro, Sandra
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    Since their introduction in the early 1990s, genetically modified organisms in agriculture tended to emphasize improved yield. Europeans, perceiving unacceptable risk and too little benefit, resoundingly disapproved of GMO use in agro-food processes. More recently, research has turned to developing products that use GMO components that better match consumer interest, including nutritionally enhanced foods, environmentally friendly crops, and other areas. The question that arises is whether Europeans perceive that the new, prospective benefits outweigh the olds risks, opening the market to such products. This paper investigates consumer preferences for a number of hypothetical genetic modifications in a widely consumed food product: yoghurt. We explore the issue using discrete-choice, multi-attribute, stated-preference data. Our analysis of the data shows that consumers attribute low importance to prospected benefits in judging gene technology applications. Moreover, data demonstrates that consumers don’t feel that labels and certification alone offer sufficient safeguards from perceived danger. Conversely, better information through scientific research does seem to have an impact.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/7878
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    Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 105th Seminar, March 8-10, 2007, Bologna, Italy with number 7878.

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    Date of creation: 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:eaa105:7878
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    1. Jayson L. Lusk & Jutta Roosen & John A. Fox, 2003. "Demand for Beef from Cattle Administered Growth Hormones or Fed Genetically Modified Corn: A Comparison of Consumers in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(1), pages 16-29.
    2. Adamowicz W. & Louviere J. & Williams M., 1994. "Combining Revealed and Stated Preference Methods for Valuing Environmental Amenities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 271-292, May.
    3. Baker, Gregory A. & Burnham, Thomas A., 2001. "Consumer Response To Genetically Modified Foods: Market Segment Analysis And Implications For Producers And Policy Makers," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 26(02), December.
    4. Daniel McFadden & Kenneth Train, 2000. "Mixed MNL models for discrete response," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 447-470.
    5. McFadden, Daniel & Ruud, Paul A, 1994. "Estimation by Simulation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 591-608, November.
    6. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
    7. Novoselova, Tatiana A. & van der Lans, Ivo A.C.M. & Meuwissen, Miranda P.M. & Huirne, Ruud B.M., 2005. "Consumer Acceptance of GM Applications in the Pork Production Chain: A Choice Modelling Approach," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24527, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. Wuyang Hu, 2004. "Trading off health, environmental and genetic modification attributes in food," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 31(3), pages 389-408, September.
    9. Daniel McFadden, 2001. "Economic Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 351-378, June.
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