Perceived Risks of Agro-biotechnology and Organic Food Purchase in the United States

This study examined the role of consumers' perceived risks and benefits of agro-biotechnology in shaping the purchase pattern for organic food among US consumers. Consumers' general purchase behavior, knowledge of GM technology, and socio-demographic variables were examined in relation to their impact on organic food purchase. The sample data indicated that less than one fourth of the consumers bought organic products at least sometimes. Only 2% of the consumers bought organic food very often. Perceived risks of agro-biotechnology played a dominant role in influencing organic food purchase decisions. Consumers who were concerned about negative attributes of agro-biotechnology including long-term health and environmental hazards, inequity in the distribution of benefits from the technology, and adverse effects to small and medium farms were the potential organic food consumers. Benefits of agro-biotechnology did not play an important role in shaping the purchase pattern for organic food. Food safety was the most important consideration while making organic food purchase decisions. Importance of food safety while making food purchase decisions and consumers' trust in the ability of grocery stores to supply safe food were other important factors in determining purchase pattern for organic foods. In this study, prices of food products did not play important role in determining purchase pattern for organic foods. Growth in organic food market is largely dependent on continued reinforcement of consumers' belief that organic foods are safer than conventional foods

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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