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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.

Keywords: GMOs ; functional properties ; willingness to pay ; choice modelling

Subject(s): Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety

Issue Date: 2007

Publication Type: Conference Paper/ Presentation

PURL Identifier: Page range: 669-680

Total Pages: 12

Series Statement: Contributed paper 45

Record appears in: European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE) > 105th Seminar, March 8-10, 2007, Bologna, Italy

Autor: Marin, Floriana ; Notaro, Sandra


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