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Shoppers will buy gene-edited food if they know its consumer, animal and environmental benefits

| March 11, 2020
grocery
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The FMI Foundation in partnership with the American Seed Trade Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Farm Foundation, today released a consumer research study measuring market potential for gene-edited products. The nationwide survey examined U.S. consumers beliefs, awareness, and understanding of gene editing in food and agriculture, and their willingness-to-pay for gene-edited foods as it pertains to fresh and processed vegetables and meat.

Dr. Vincenzina Caputo, assistant professor at the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics at Michigan State University, in collaboration with Valerie Kilders, research assistant at Michigan State University, and Dr. Jayson Lusk, Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, surveyed nearly 5,000 U.S. food shoppers who completed simulated purchasing scenarios. Respondents chose between products depicted to be organic, non-GMO, bioengineered, conventional, or gene edited.

Some of the key takeaways from the research include:

  • More than half of consumers have never heard of gene editing.
  • Despite limited awareness of gene editing, most consumers still value having the option to buy gene-edited foods.
  • Consumers are more willing to purchase gene-edited foods when they know the specific benefits to the consumer, the environment and animal health.
  • When consumers are informed of the benefits of gene editing, market potential for gene-edited products exceeds 15 percent.

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