Genetically Modified Organisms in the Food Supply: Public Opinion vs. Consumer Behavior
In this paper we study the differences in European public opinion and consumer behavior with regard to the use of genetically modified organisms in the food supply. We report the results of an economic experiment in which we elicited willingness-to-pay information for products that contained GMO-free at various thresholds. We also present the data from a survey of public opinion on the same subject. Participants in both the experiment and the survey were a demographically representative sample of French households. We find that actual consumer behavior exhibits a lower level of hostility toward GMO's than that suggested by the survey. We analyze the consequences of our findings for labeling policy.
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