Title page for ETD etd-03312006-160644


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Han, Jae-Hwan
Author's Email Address jhan4@lsu.edu
URN etd-03312006-160644
Title The Effects of Perceptions on Consumer Acceptance of Genetically Modified(GM) Foods
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
R. Wes Harrison Committee Chair
Jeffery M. Gillespie Committee Member
Krishna P. Paudel Committee Member
P. Lynn Kennedy Committee Member
Roger A. Hinson Committee Member
W.Douglas McMillin Committee Member
Witoon Prinyawiwatkul Dean's Representative
Keywords
  • intentions
  • attitude
  • beliefs
  • gm
Date of Defense 2006-03-03
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This study investigates the effects of risk/benefit beliefs on consumer purchase intentions for genetically modified (GM) foods. A random, national, mail survey is conducted. Three main problems are addressed in the study. The first problem addressed is to analyze the relationship between consumers risk/ benefit beliefs regarding GM foods, and their willingness to buy GM crop and meat products. The second problem deals with linkages between a consumerís risk/benefit beliefs about GM foods and willingness to pay (WTP) for GM foods with a benefit disclosure. The third problem addressed is to test a causal relationship between knowledge and trust toward GM institutions, and consumerís purchase behavior toward GM foods.

The cognitive factors associated with risk/benefit tradeoffs turn out to have significant impacts on consumer acceptance of GM foods. Results indicate that when consumers decide whether to buy GM crops and meat, the most crucial factor is food safety. Other important factors affecting consumer purchase intentions are ethical issues and concerns regarding the environment and wildlife. Depending upon product types, consumers show different levels of risk perceptions for GM foods. Results indicate that consumers have higher risk sensitivity for GM meats than GM crops, as expected. Consumers living in the Northeast region of the U.S. show a negative attitude about willingness to buy GM meat products. Benefits of GM foods on health and the environment have positive, significant impacts on the premium levels for GM potatoes. Similarly, benefits of GM foods, a positive evaluation of GM foods, and trust in GM institutions such as, government, food companies, consumer environmental groups, and scientists, are significant factors that affect consumersí participation in the market for GM beef. Unexpectedly, however, health and environmental risk perceptions of GM foods and morality concerns stemming from unnatural way to produce them do not significantly affect either the decision to participate in the market or the premium level. The study found that consumer risk/benefit beliefs depend on their level of knowledge and credibility in GM institutions. Results also indicate that consumers perceive more risks than benefits for GM foods.

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