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Abstract

Applying gene technology in agricultural production, which results on the so-called genetically modified (GM) foods, is one of the most controversial scientific, political and social debates. In the EU, the underdevelopment of biotech crops is attributed to the social distrust in transgenic food. The potential consumers’ reactions towards Genetically Modified (GM) food influence the commercial feasibility and determine the economic agent decisions. This paper studies the underlying factors involved in determining consumers’ choice behaviour towards GM foods, examining the potential role of people literacy what is an issue barely studied by literature. The research is performed in Southern Spain using variance-Structural Equation Modelling, Partial Least Squares (PLS) technique. The results indicate that perceived risks and benefits from GM food act as antecedent of consumers’ purchase decisions and some differences are found in the patterns of behavioural intentions between scientific-technical literacy and social-humanistic literacy group.

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