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Genetically Modified Organisms in the Food Supply: Public Opinion vs. Consumer Behavior

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Noussair, C. & Robin, S. & Ruffieux, B., 2001. "Genetically Modified Organisms in the Food Supply: Public Opinion vs. Consumer Behavior," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1139, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1139
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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Pengcheng, 2009. "Consumers’ WTA for GM rice cookie: an experiment study in China," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51771, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Christoph, Inken B. & Roosen, Jutta & Bruhn, Maike, 2006. "Willingness to pay for genetically modified food and non-food products," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21303, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    3. Noussair, Charles & Robin, Stephane & Ruffieux, Bernard, 2002. "Do consumers not care about biotech foods or do they just not read the labels?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 47-53, March.
    4. Huffman, Wallace E. & Shogren, Jason F. & Rousu, Matthew C. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2003. "Consumer Willingness to Pay for Genetically Modified Food Labels in a Market with Diverse Information: Evidence from Experimental Auctions," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 28(03), December.
    5. Astrid Dannenberg & Sara Scatasta & Bodo Sturm, 2009. "Keine Chance für genetisch veränderte Lebensmittel in Deutschland? Eine experimentelle Analyse von Zahlungsbereitschaften," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(2), pages 214-234, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    BIOTECHNOLOGY ; CONSUMPTION;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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