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Abstract

Applying an experiment on the choice of consumer goods, we show that Swedish consumers do not regard genetically modified (GM) food as being equivalent to conventional food. A central argument by proponents of GM is that the end products are identical to those where GM has not been used. That respondents in our survey disagree with this argument is supported by two observations. First, a positive significant WTP is found for a mandatory labeling policy. This result confirms previous observations that GM food can be a credence good causing a market failure. Second, consumers are also willing to pay a significantly higher product price to ensure a total ban on the use of GM in animal fodder. Even if scientists and politicians argue that most of today's GM food is indistinguishable from GM-free food, consumers disagree.

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