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Do Consumers Really Refuse To Buy Genetically Modified Food?

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Abstract

We elicit willingness-to-pay information for similar food products that differ only in their content of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Participants in the experiment are a demographically representative sample of French consumers. 35% of participants are unwilling to purchase products made with GMOs, 23% are indifferent or value the presence of GMOs, and 42% are willing to purchase them if they are sufficiently inexpensive. The results contrast with surveys that indicate overwhelming opposition to GM foods. There is a surplus to be gained from the segregation of the market for food products into a GMO-free segment and a segment allowing GMOs. Copyright 2004 Royal Economic Society.

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