An Open Mind Wants More: Opinion Strength and the Desire for Genetically Modified Food Labeling Policy
There are two opposing viewpoints regarding consumers' acceptance of genetically modified (GM) foods and their desire for the labeling of these foods. Some suggest consumers are unconcerned and do not desire any GM labeling while others indicate the opposite. The mixed results may be because consumers are capable of making finer distinctions than surveys have called for, and appear to have evaluation schemes that are quite sensitive to information about the potential benefits and risks associated with GM foods. Using a mix of statistical approaches, we find consumers are quite different and nuanced in terms of their preferences for GM labeling policy. Consumers with less-defined views require mandatory labeling of the most stringent type and require the most amount of information to be placed on labels. In contrast, consumers with stronger viewpoints (either pro- or con-GM) are more relaxed in their labeling and information requirements.
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