Consumer Attitudes to Genetically Modified Organisms in Food in the UK

This paper reports the results of a study of UK consumer attitudes to food safety as they relate to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the extent to which they translate into a relatively high willingness to pay to avoid these products. The results indicate the relative importance of different aspects of the food system in forming preferences, and that GM food is only one of a number of concerns, albeit a significant one. The results also indicate that attitudes towards organic food may be taken as a useful indicator of attitudes towards GM technology, as the preference structure which underlies the former also appears to inform the latter. Significant differences are found between attitudes to GM food in which plants are modified by the introduction of genes from other plants and those in which they are modified by the introduction of genes from animals and plants.

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This paper is published in full in European Review of Agricultural Economics Vol 28(4) (2001) pp.479-498

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