Term Paper: Genetically Modified Foods

Pages: 2 (836 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Agriculture  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Data were collected from a random sample of 318 adults from two major Midwestern cities. These individuals provided social-demographic information and answers on prior beliefs about technologies and participated in a set of experiments. They then completed a short questionnaire on: "If a source of information were to give you verifiable information on genetically modified foods, who would you trust most?" This information was coded into the categories of third-party, government, environmental or consumer group, private industry or organization, none or nobody, and "other" (including no response).

An econometric model was used to establish linkages of trust to provide verifiable information on genetically modified foods. Five regressors were included in this multinomial logit model: a participant's household income, education, age, a dummy variable for prior beliefs, and a dummy for conservative religious affiliation. Results showed that well educated individuals more likely trust an "independent third-party." Also, increasing a participant's schooling significantly lowers the odds of trust of government, private industry, or no "body," and "other" relative to a third-party source. As people age, the odds they trust an environmental or consumer group or "nobody" falls significantly relative to trusting a third-party source. Participants with a strict religious upbringing have significantly lower odds of trusting private industry and higher odds of trusting "nobody" relative to a third-party source.

Any individuals involved with product development and marketing, especially controversial ones, must keep in mind the trust factor. In this case, contrary information is disseminated by the NGOs, agricultural biotech industry and U.S. government. The federal government is not a valid third-party source; for example, some groups are not in favor of the FDA's policies on voluntary GM food labels. However, state the authors, "a quasi-governmental entity funded by the government and staffed with informed but financially disinterested scientists not answering to the government may be the best possible source to provide information on foods labeled as genetically modified."

References Cited

Becker, G.S. (1996) Accounting for Tastes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Glaeser, E.L., et. al (2000). "Measuring Trust." The Quarterly Journal of Economics 115:811-846.

Hausman, J. 1996. "Valuation of New Goods under Perfect and Imperfect Competition," in Bresnahan, T. And R.J. Gordon, Eds., The Economics of New Goods, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Huffman, W. (2004) et. al., "Who do consumers trust for information: the case of genetically modified foods." American Journal of Economics 86(5): 1222-1230.

Schultz, T.W. (1975) "The value of the ability to deal… [END OF PREVIEW]

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