STORIES in Agriculture and Life Sciences


Ed Adcock


Wallace Huffman studies what drives consumers' decisions on food purchases. A recently published study by the ISU economist found that when given a choice, informed consumers are willing to pay more for genetically modified food that offers health benefits. But the type of modification made a difference. He and his colleagues randomly selected groups of consumers, provided them with information about the experimental foods and asked them to register their preferences by placing bids for all presented foods. Participants offered to pay more, compared to plain produce, for produce with increased nutrients from intragenic modification which uses genes from the same plant species. They weren't willing to pay more for produce enhanced by transgenic modification, which takes genes from other species.