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A Crisis of Consumers’ Trust in Scientists and Influence on Consumer Attitude

R. Hu and H. Deng

No 276047, 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia from International Association of Agricultural Economists

Abstract: China used to zealously embrace genetically modified (GM) technology, but debates, scandals and misleading news on GM technology increase consumers’ risk perceptions of GM foods and influenced their trust in different actors involved in biotechnology. A better understanding of consumer trust in different actors or source of information can improve effectiveness of biotechnology policy and better practice in risk communication with respect to GM foods. This paper employs bivariate Probit models and IV Probit model to examine the relationships between consumers’ trust in different actors / source of information and their attitudes toward GM foods. The surveys conducted in 2015 in China showed that most consumers reject GM foods and tend to distrust in scientists who are engaged in biotechnology research. Meanwhile, they revealed a high level of trust in non-GM scientists or individuals and high levels of belief in misleading news or rumors regarding GM food safety. Consumer trust in GM scientists are positively associate with their acceptance of GM foods while their trust in non-GM scientists or individuals and belief in misleading news or rumors are important constraints for consumer acceptance of GM foods.

Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna and nep-soc
Date: 2018-07
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