Published: October 4, 2022

Category: GMO News, The Non-GMO Blog

Six years ago, the state of Vermont passed what turned out to be a short-lived law mandating disclosure of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, on all food products. That law’s effect? A collective shrug of the shoulders.

That doesn’t mean people don’t care about whether GMO ingredients are in their food, according to new Cornell research. Although the mandatory labeling law didn’t change consumer purchasing patterns, the researchers found that the increased consumer awareness caused by the legislation, coupled with existing non-GMO labeling, actually did shift preferences.

“For the consumers who care about this non-GMO attribute, they already have a relevant information signal available in the form of the non-GMO label,” said Jura Liaukonyte, the Dake Family Associate Professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.

“That’s when the switching happens,” Liaukonyte said, “and this switching is triggered by a heightened awareness through these legislative conversations.”

GMO and non-GMO Labeling Effects: Evidence From a Quasi-Natural Experiment,” published Aug. 29 in Marketing Science.

The group’s key finding: An increase in consumer awareness around GMO-related topics—even in states that didn’t ultimately pass GMO labeling laws—is linked to an increase in demand for non-GMO products. And that difference can be quantified: They found that 36% of new non-GMO product adoption can be explained by differences in consumer awareness tied to legislative activity.

Source: Cornell University

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Organic & Non-GMO Insights October 2022