An Empirical Analysis of United States Consumers' Concerns About Eight Food Production and Processing Technologies
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For a representative sample of US consumers, we analyze ratings of concern toward eight food production and processing technologies: antibiotics, pesticides, artificial growth hormones, genetic modification (GM), irradiation, artificial colors/flavors, pasteurization, and preservatives. Concern is highest for pesticides and hormones, followed by concern about antibiotics, genetic modification, and irradiation. We document standard relationships between many demographic, economic, and attitude variables and the average concern level. Our main contribution is identifying three clusters of technologies that engender similar patterns of concern ratings among respondents and estimating models that correlate key personal and household characteristics to these underlying technology concern factors. We find that several individual characteristics that yield little explanatory power for average ratings have discriminatory power for explaining concern across different technology clusters.
AgBioForum, 8(1) 2005: 40-49.