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Abstract

Nanotechnology has tremendous potential in food and agriculture. Few economic studies focused on specific products made using nanotechnology, let alone food or food related products. Using a national choice experiment survey, this analysis examines consumers’ valuations for nano-attributes. As implied, consumers were willing to pay less for canola oil if it was produced from nanoscale-modified seed; less if the final products were packed with nanotechnology-enhanced packaging technique; and no significant difference was found for oil that was designed with health enhancing nano-engineered oil drops, which would require interaction with the human digestive system. Additionally, the results revealed unobserved heterogeneities among respondents in their willingness-to-pay for canola oil attributes. Findings from this study will help bridge the gap between scientific innovation and public policy and social-economic concerns. Implications for government policy that can be efficiently used to monitor and regulate these technologies were also investigated.

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