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Abstract

For a representative sample of U.S. consumers, we rank, correlate and explain ratings of concern toward eight food production and processing technologies (antibiotics, pesticides, artificial growth hormones, genetic modification, irradiation, artificial colors/flavors, pasteurization, and preservatives). Concern is highest for pesticides and hormones, followed by concern toward antibiotics, genetic modification and irradiation. We document standard relationships between many demographic, economic and attitude variables and the average concern level. Our main contribution is modeling relative levels of concern across technologies, where we find that key personal and household characteristics that yield little explanatory power for average ratings have sharp discriminatory power for relative ratings.

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