The study applies multivariate statistical and econometric tools to estimate the importance of the various factors driving Korean consumer acceptance of GM food products. The evidence thus far on biotechnology is decidedly mixed: public perceptions of food biotechnology are characterized by ongoing tension between opposing forces. The South Korean perceptions about food in general and ranges from excitement about the promise of environmental and economic benefits from GM products to fear and distrust of the technology for unknown risks. This highlights the importance of credibility of private and public institutions responsible for certifying the safety of GM foods and implementing necessary regulatory controls on GM processes and products. In between, many people are undecided, trying to learn more about the issues and reach a definitive position. Encouraging though is that some people are eager to try new foods. Koreans strongly favors food naturalness, familiarity, and access just as the west countries. Results suggest that the South Korean Consumer priorities with respect to various biotechnology and general food issues are related to their socioeconomic and value attributes. This implies that, at least in the near term, there will be considerable divergence within the society in terms of acceptance of food biotechnology. The finding that large segments of the Korean society are either not fully informed or interested in learning more about biotechnology calls for a public education program. A program that may play a constructive role in not only informing consumers but help them in arriving at a socially optimal collective decisions on the wisdom and desirability of food biotechnology.


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