The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (PL 114-216) will require nearly all foods sold in the U.S. to bear a statement disclosing whether they contain genetically modified (GM) material. Past studies suggest the presence of such a statement could have profound effects on consumers; however, research comparing consumer response towards different GM-disclosure statements is scarce. PL 114-216 states that GM foods shall not be considered more or less safe than their non-bioengineered counterparts, nevertheless it would benefit regulators and food manufacturers to be aware of the possible effects such disclosures might have on consumers. In a nationwide survey, multiple disclosure statements with varying degrees of public familiarity were compared to evaluate consumer perceptions and attitudes associated with each statement. Average consumer knowledge level of GM processes was also measured. The statements were then paired with actual food items to determine whether specific product categories influenced consumer responses. A select few of these statements and foods were included in a taste panel, allowing researchers to analyze if disclosure statements affected a consumer's sensorial experience. Results suggested that consumers were most favorable towards statements indicating the absence of GM-material, however they also responded less negatively towards new disclosure statements that do not have negative connotations. Additionally, consumers may react differently depending on the food accompanying a particular disclosure, although the taste panel data found no evidence that statements affected actual eating experience. Importantly, data from both surveys and taste panel suggested a disclosure statement may affect consumer willingness to buy a product.
College and Department
Life Sciences; Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Newcomb, Ellyn Margaret, "Effects of GM Disclosure Statements on Consumer Perceptions of Selected Food Products in Survey and Sensory Panel Settings" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 6699.
food label, attitudes, purchase likelihood, bio-designed, bioengineered, genetically designed, genetically modified, genetically engineered, genetic biotechnology