Original Article

Consumers and genetically modified foods: attitudes, willingness to purchase, and necessity of product labeling



Background: Introduction of genetically modified foods could be a potential solution for poor nutrition and poor health. The purpose of this study was to determine the consumers' attitudes toward and willingness to purchase genetically modified foods (GMFs), and their opinion about the necessity of labeling these products.

Methods: This cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the attitudes toward, the willingness to purchase, and the necessity of labeling GMFs among 203 employees of the medical university (mean age: 39.98 years old), consisting of 126 females (62.1%) and 77 males (37.9%), using a validated questionnaire. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire were examined by an expert panel and the test-retest method. Data analysis was performed by SPSS.

Results: The results of this study showed that 11.3% of the participants had a positive, and 37.9% had a negative attitude toward GMFs. Out of all the participants, 81.7% completely agreed on the labeling of GMFs, 13.3% tended to buy these products, and 49.3% were unwilling to purchase these foods. There was a significant relationship between gender, attitudes (p= 0.005), and the necessity of labeling (p= 0.050). A significant difference was observed between the history of food intolerance and the necessity of labeling (p= 0.040). Also, there was a significant relationship between the attitudes and the willingness to buy genetically modified products (p< 0.001, R= 0.368).

Conclusion: The participants in this study were observed to have a low willingness to buy genetically modified products. Therefore, if the individuals' awareness of the benefits of GMFs is increased, they will show a tendency for purchasing these products.

1. Marques MD, Critchley CR, Walshe J. Attitudes to genetically modified food over time: How trust in organizations and the media cycle predict support. Public Understanding of Science. 2015;24(5):601-18.
2. Hasheminya S-M, Dehghannya J. An overview of genetically modified food products: Benefits, risks, health safety and related regulations. IRJABS; 2013.
3. Jiménez‐Salas Z, Campos‐Góngora E, González‐Martínez BE, Tijerina‐Sáenz A, Escamilla‐Méndez AD, Ramírez‐López E. Basic‐education mexican teachers' knowledge of biotechnology and attitudes about the consumption of genetically modified foods. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education. 2017;45(5):396-402.
4. Chen M-F, Li H-L. The consumer’s attitude toward genetically modified foods in Taiwan. Food Quality and preference. 2007;18(4):662-74.
5. Lefebvre S, Cook LA, Griffiths MA. Consumer perceptions of genetically modified foods: a mixed-method approach. Journal of Consumer Marketing. 2019;36(1):113-23.
6. Chen Q, Liu G, Liu Y. Can product-information disclosure increase Chinese consumer’s willingness to pay for GM foods? The case of Fad-3 GM lamb. China Agricultural Economic Review. 2017;9(3):415-37.
7. Grimsrud KM, McCluskey JJ, Loureiro ML, Wahl TI. Consumer attitudes to genetically modified food in Norway. Journal of Agricultural Economics. 2004;55(1):75-90.
8. McFadden BR, Lusk JL. What consumers don’t know about genetically modified food, and how that affects beliefs. The FASEB Journal. 2016;30(9):3091-6.
9. McFadden BR. Examining the gap between science and public opinion about genetically modified food and global warming. PloS one. 2016;11(11):e0166140.
10. Vecchione M, Feldman C, Wunderlich S. Consumer knowledge and attitudes about genetically modified food products and labelling policy. International journal of food sciences and nutrition. 2015;66(3):329-35.
11. Lachowski S, Jurkiewicz A, Choina P, Florek-Łuszczki M, Buczaj A, Goździewska M. Readiness of adolescents to use genetically modified organisms according to their knowledge and emotional attitude towards GMOs. Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine. 2017;24(2):194-200.
12. Babasaheb Kajale D, C. Becker T. Determinants of consumer support for mandatory labeling of genetically modified food in India: A student survey. British Food Journal. 2013;115(11):1597-611.
13. Gruère GP, Carter CA, Farzin YH. Explaining international differences in genetically modified food labeling policies. Review of International Economics. 2009;17(3):393-408.
14. Gruère GP, Rao S. A review of international labeling policies of genetically modified food to evaluate India's proposed rule. 2007.
15. Finke MS, Kim H. Attitudes about genetically modified foods among Korean and American college students. 2003.
16. Huang J, Qiu H, Bai J, Pray C. Awareness, acceptance of and willingness to buy genetically modified foods in Urban China. Appetite. 2006;46(2):144-51.
17. Kimenju SC, De Groote H. Consumer willingness to pay for genetically modified food in Kenya. Agricultural economics. 2008;38(1):35-46.
18. Polit DF, Beck CT. Nursing research: Principles and methods: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2004.
19. Lawshe CH. A quantitative approach to content validity 1. Personnel psychology. 1975;28(4):563-75.
20. Landis JR, Koch GG. The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. biometrics. 1977:159-74.
21. Miles S, Ueland Ø, Frewer LJ. Public attitudes towards genetically-modified food. British Food Journal. 2005;107(4):246-62.
22. Noussair C, Robin S, Ruffieux B. Do consumers really refuse to buy genetically modified food? The economic journal. 2004;114(492):102-20.
23. Cook AJ, Kerr GN, Moore K. Attitudes and intentions towards purchasing GM food. Journal of Economic Psychology. 2002;23(5):557-72.
24. Kolodinsky J, Lusk JL. Mandatory labels can improve attitudes toward genetically engineered food. Science advances. 2018;4(6):eaaq1413.
25 Tas M, Balci M, Yüksel A, Sahin Yesilçubuk N. Consumer awareness, perception and attitudes towards genetically modified foods in Turkey. British Food Journal. 2015.39-1426:(5)117;5
IssueVol 6, No 1 (Winter 2020) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
Keywords: Attitude, Willingness to purchase, Necessity of labeling, Genetically modified foods

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Heydarian azadeh, Dehdari T, Tahvilian N, Tayebeh Rahideh S. Consumers and genetically modified foods: attitudes, willingness to purchase, and necessity of product labeling. J Nutr Sci & Diet. 2022;6(1):55-62.