Organic Consumers Association

USDA Economic Research Service reports on consumer attitudes on GM foods

Consumers in the United States "are not as willing to buy foods manufactured
from genetically engineered (GM) grains,oilseeds and other crops as
suggested by biotech companies and seed firms involved in promoting the
technology among producers," according to new research conducted by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.
"Consumers discounted food items labeled GM by 14%. In addition, gender,
income, and other demographic characteristics appear to have only a slight
impact on consumers' willingness to pay for biotech foods," Abebayehu
Tegene, Wallace E. Huffman, Matthew Rousu, and Jason F. Shogren said in the
conclusion to their report. "However, information from interested
parties and third-party information do influence consumers' willingness to
pay for biotech and (perceived) non-biotech foods.

The use of GM rather than biotech or bioengineered on the labels could also
have influenced the results."

Not surprisingly, the study found that consumers who received only negative
information about biotechnology paid 35-38% less for food products labeled
GM, depending on the product. "When the negative information is coupled with
independent third-party information, they were willing to pay only 17-22%
less for GM-labeled food."

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