There is concern about the extent to which consumers will accept genetically modified (GM) foods if they are commercialized in China. The evidence from the existing literature is mixed and sometimes confusing. The objective of this study is to conduct a large in-depth face-to-face in-house survey that examines the consumers' awareness, acceptance of and willingness to buy GM foods in China. To achieve this objective, a well-designed consumer survey was conducted in 11 cities of five provinces in Eastern China in 2002 and 2003. The results indicate that despite much less information on GM foods available publicly in China, more than two thirds of consumers in urban areas have heard of GM foods. But their knowledge on biotechnology was limited. Chinese consumers' acceptance of and willingness to buy GM foods was much higher than in other countries. Chinese consumers also demonstrated great variance in their acceptance of different GM foods. Information and prices of GM foods were two important factors affecting consumers' attitudes toward GM foods. Based on the findings of this study and given that our sample is in the more developed eastern Urban China, we conclude that the commercialization of GM foods is not likely to receive great resistance from the consumers in China.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Genetically modified foods