Crop Biotech Update

Consumers Willing to Pay Premium for Healthier Genetically Modified Foods: ISU Study

September 15, 2011

An update on a study by Iowa State University researcher Wallace Huffman on consumer's willingness to pay for transgenic vs non transgenic food in 2001, was published recently. During that time, results showed that consumers would pay 15 percent less for foods developed through transgenic methods.

The results of the current study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics focused on Huffman's experiments on intragenics (transferred genes from same species) vs transgenics (transferred genes from other species). Genetically modified (transgenics and intragenics) and non-modified fresh potatoes, tomatoes and broccoli with increased levels of antioxidants and vitamin C were used to evaluate consumer preference.  Results showed that consumers are willing to pay for those nutritional improvements that are introduced by intragenic means.

When given positive, negative, and neutral information on genetic modification, from scientific, human, financial, environmental and general perspectives,  information from the food industry was usually given more weight by consumers than the information presented by the environmental group.

See the original article for more details at http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2011/sep/huffmanGMO