Consumer Perception and Preference towards Genetically Modified (GM) Foods: Bibliometric Evidence and Policy Imperatives

42 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2021

See all articles by Sendhil R

Sendhil R

ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research

Joan Nyika

The Technical University of Kenya

Sheel Yadav

National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi, INDIA

Joby Mackolil

CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore, INDIA

Rama Prashat G

ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, INDIA

Endashaw Workie

School of Environmental science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, CHINA

Raja Ragupathy

Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, Agriculture & Agri Food Canada, Alberta, CANADA

P. Ramasundaram

Indian Council of Agricultural Research

Date Written: July 8, 2021

Abstract

Background: Genetically modified (GM) foods could be a promising option to reduce the dependence of the agri-food system on conventional means of crop improvement. However, the safety of GM food remains a concern, in addition to the perceived and real risks to environment. The opinion about scientific evidence among researchers, policymakers and government regulators on promotion of GM foods for consumers differ. This study presents the trends emerging from research outputs on consumer perception and preference for GM foods and policy prescriptions for enabling the consumption.

Scope and Approach: The study mainly focused on (1) exploring the publication trends, geographic focus of research and a comprehensive review on the consumers’ perception of and preference to GM foods, (2) identifying research hotspots and emerging genetically modified organisms (GMO) research themes, (3) assessing the integrated nature of GMO research, and (4) suggesting policy prescriptions on challenges and way forward. Bibliometric analyses have been performed using the Web of Science (WOS) database sourcing literature from 1981 to 2021 and analyzed the final sample of 543 publications using BibExcel and VOSviewer visualization software tools. The search strategy utilized the topic basis search of phrases related to GM food preference and perception.

Key Findings and Conclusions: The search query retrieving 543 journal articles showed an increasing trend in publications on consumer’s response towards GM foods. Thematic analysis revealed a strong interlinkage of GMOs research with ‘agriculture’ and ‘food science technology’. Consumers’ positive response is largely influenced by the decision of the governments to ban or approve the GM crops cultivation. Similarly, the public support increases when the potential benefits of the technology are well articulated, consumption increases with a price discount, people’s trust on the government and belief in science increases with a positive influence by the media. Mapping of the retrieved articles showed the top four recurrent keywords: GMOs, biotechnology, attitudes and acceptance. Europe and the USA are the first region and country, respectively, in terms of the number of active institutions per research output, per capita GDP publication and citations per article. The National Natural Science Foundation of China, followed by the National University of Malaysia are the top fundraisers for research on GM food consumption, perceptions and attitudes. Although research outputs on GM food consumer's acceptance and preferences are increasing, a majority of publications came from developed nations. Thus, intensive research is yet to be carried out in developing countries to produce a genetically modified food product with superior properties and substantial equivalence with no significant side-effects. We suggest research-, agri-food industries-, and society-oriented policies needed to be implemented by the stakeholders to ensure the safety of GM food products, encourage consumer-based studies, and increase public awareness towards these food products.

Keywords: Bibliometric analysis, Consumer perception, Consumer preferences, GMOs, GM food, Industry implications, Policy imperatives, Future research thrust.

JEL Classification: D11, D12, D18, L66, Q18

Suggested Citation

R, Sendhil and Nyika, Joan and Yadav, Sheel and Mackolil, Joby and G, Rama Prashat and Workie, Endashaw and Ragupathy, Raja and Ramasundaram, P., Consumer Perception and Preference towards Genetically Modified (GM) Foods: Bibliometric Evidence and Policy Imperatives (July 8, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3882657 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3882657

Sendhil R (Contact Author)

ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research ( email )

PO Box 158, Agarsain Marg
Karnal, 132001
India
132001 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://iiwbr.icar.gov.in/team_member/dr-r-sendhil/

Joan Nyika

The Technical University of Kenya

P.O.Box 52428
Nairobi, Nairobi County 00200
Kenya

Sheel Yadav

National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi, INDIA ( email )

Joby Mackolil

CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore, INDIA ( email )

Rama Prashat G

ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, INDIA ( email )

Endashaw Workie

School of Environmental science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, CHINA ( email )

Raja Ragupathy

Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, Agriculture & Agri Food Canada, Alberta, CANADA ( email )

P. Ramasundaram

Indian Council of Agricultural Research ( email )

Krishi Anusandhan Bhavan II
Pusa
New Delhi 110012, Delhi 110012
India
9716134485 (Phone)
110012 (Fax)

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