Consumers’ Evaluation of Biotechnology in Food Products: New Evidence from a Meta-Survey

Other than previous meta-analyses, we ignore the reported main outcome of a study. Instead, we focus on studies that present descriptive statistics of survey statements as long as these address consumers’ evaluation of biotechnology in food products and capture responses on a numerical scale (e.g. Likert). To make these scales comparable across studies, a set of judges performed a randomized and repeated re-scaling of reported scale endpoints to a common benchmark scale. This approach allows to combine information from 1673 survey questions out of 214 different studies, covering 58 different countries and responses from more than 200 000 respondents. Findings from our mixed effects meta-model show that survey questions with positive (negative) connotations about biotechnology tend to be associated with positive (negative) measures of evaluation. After controlling for this, the European Union and many of its individual member countries appear insignificant. Evaluation of biotechnology is largely insensitive to the type of food product. Stated benefits of biotechnologies in food do not produce any significant positive reaction, except medical features build into food. Instead, price discounts, increased production and various perceived risks generate significant negative coefficients. Joint research projects between academic departments and industry consortia report more positive measures of consumer evaluation than any other type of publication.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-06

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