The International Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology Research (ICABR)

Non technical abstract


ANALYSIS AND 

DIFFERENTIATION OF 

CONSUMERS' PERCEPTIONS 

OF GENETICALLY  MODIFIED 

FOODS

 

Simbo Olubobokun
Department of Agricultural Economics
University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
 

Peter W.B. Phillips
Department of Agricultural Economics
University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

  Jill E. Hobbs
Department of Agricultural Economics
University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

 
 

The introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops has significantly complicated international trade policy. The 13 crops that have been genetically modified and approved for production somewhere in the world are reputed to be potentially used in 60% or more of the processed foods sold in developed countries.

When consumer attitudes toward quality change, the demand for such goods are affected.  Consumer information and knowledge are very important in a period when consumers appear to be changing their attitude toward quality and their definition of quality specifically in the area of genetically modified foods (GM foods). 

Presently, there is a growing attention toward GM foods.  Producers need adequate consumer information to be able to provide the quality assurance that consumers of GM foods need.  If producers are able to provide the quality assurance that consumers need, then producers can have a high level of confidence that the goods being produced will eventually be purchased.

Generally, consumers develop their attitudes towards the quality of a product based on perceptions of benefits and risks.  These perceptions are usually based on prior knowledge and experience in addition to information such as brand name, retailer reputation and labeling.

While there are a wide range of citizen and consumer surveys that show varying degrees of support or antagonism to GM foods, it is not clear how these views would or could influence the operation of the market in the absence of regulation.  This paper examines the array of consumer opinions in various markets and then reviews and assesses the various economic specifications of consumer demand to determine how best to characterize these varied preferences. Ultimately, the consumer response to GM products should provide the economic rationale for whatever regulatory policy is adopted.


Home Page Non tecnical Abstract 2001 Program Registration Hotel accommodation Ravello and surroundings Social program