Biotech Updates

America's Consumers Willing to Spend More for Biotech Potato Products

March 18, 2015

New research conducted by economist Wallace Hoffman from Iowa State University (ISU) found that consumers are willing to spend more for genetically modified (GM) potato products with reduced levels of the chemical acrylamide which is linked to cancer. The US Food and Drug Administration has urged Americans to cut back on foods that contain the substance.

Huffman's research attempts to gauge consumer attitudes toward experimental GM potato products. The results of his research showed that consumers were willing to pay more for GM potato products that reduce the formation of acrylamide than for conventional potatoes. Huffman said that the results provide evidence that consumers are willing to pay more for enhanced food safety, even when it's delivered through biotech methods.

Participants were willing to pay US$1.78 more for a five-pound bag of potatoes after receiving scientific information on hazards associated with acrylamide exposure and a potato industry perspective on dramatically reducing acrylamide in potato products using biotechnology. The participants were also willing to pay an extra US$1.33 for a package of frozen french fries after they received materials explaining the scientific implications of human exposure to acrylamide.

For more details, read the news release at the ISU website.