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Surveys on consumer acceptance of GM foods revealed differences in knowledge, risk perception and acceptance of GM foods in Japan, Norway, Spain, Taiwan and the United States. There were opponents and proponents of GM foods. However, even in the United States, one of the most supportive countries, consumers were willing to pay substantial premiums to avoid GM alternatives. While genetic engineering holds great potential to enhance yield and productivity for many crops, especially those widely cultivated in the developing world, there have been little, if any tangible benefits to the consumer from the first wave of GM crops. Partially due to this lack of consumer benefits, there has been consumer resistance to GM foods in many parts of the world. It would be a great challenge for the biotechnology industry and government policy makers to improve consumer acceptance of GM foods derived from the current and future generations of GM crops. Policy makers also need to find ways to make GM technologies affordable to poor farmers in the developing world to enhance their agricultural sustainability and food security.


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