Differences in consumer views about genetically modified crops have recently lead to trade disputes between the United States and the countries of the European Union. This paper uses a simple cost-benefit model to examine what factors influence consumer views on modified crops, and analyses them in an attempt to explain the observed difference between the American and European perspectives. Potential socio-economic, health and environmental effects interact with personal beliefs to shape consumer views. It is argued that most of the difference in opinions can be traced back to the lack of accurate information. There is a difference in the perceived costs and benefits of genetically modified crops on the two continents because perceptions of the likelihood and magnitude of their possible effects are different.
Major Themes in Economics
©2001 by Major Themes in Economics
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"Consumer Views on Genetically Modified Crops,"
Major Themes in Economics, 3, 53-69.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/mtie/vol3/iss1/6