Canadian consumers' judgments of labels for genetically modified foods: An experimental study

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Porter, Melanie V.

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University of Guelph


The current study used a 2 x 2 between-subjects design with a control group to assess consumers' judgments of potential label formats for a proposed voluntary labelling standard for genetically modified (GM) foods. Factors were presence or absence of GM symbol and GM benefit information. Dependent variables were attitude towards the product, informedness, and attitude towards the label. Each participant (n = 48 x 5) viewed, in random order, food labels for cereal, potatoes, and canola oil. Analysis of variance found that inclusion of benefit information resulted in more favourable judgments for the potatoes and canola oil. Repeated measures analysis of variance found significant differences between each of the three food products for the three dependent measures. These findings suggest that including a GM benefit on food labels will lead to favourable consumer attitudes, and emphasize the importance of testing GM food labels for individual food products since consumer perceptions appear to differ across products.



labels, generically modified foods, Canadian consumers, judgements, attitudes