Consumers Respond to Information About Pesticide Residues

Food safety experts rank foodborne disease due to microorganisms as the greatest health risk from the food supply. Yet for consumers, pesticide residues on fresh produce are a major food safety concern. The Packer trade magazine re-- ported that some consumers altered their buying habits between 1989 and 1990 because of concerns about pesticide residues on fresh produce, although changes were not dramatic. On the other hand, more than half of consumers responding to a 1989 University of Georgia survey said they maintained their purchase patterns for fresh produce, even though they perceived high risks from pesticide residues and desired some assurance of the produce's safety. The apparent contrast between attitudes and behaviors concerning pesticide residues gives confusing signals to food marketers and regulatory policymakers. Researchers at North Carolina State University conducted a consumer survey to gain information on how consumers trade off health risks with price. The researchers found that many consumers were willing to shift to produce that had been tested for residues after they received information about pesticide residues. But their willingness to shift depended on the price difference between the tested and untested produce and their education level.

Issue Date:
Oct 10 1992
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Record Identifier:
Published in:
Food Review: The Magazine of Food Economics, Volume 15, Issue 3
Page range:

 Record created 2017-12-18, last modified 2018-01-22

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