Many consumers are getting confused with the "organic" and "non-GMO" labels,
according to a national survey conducted by scientists at the University of
Florida and Purdue University.
In June 2016, the Congress approved the National Bioengineered Food
Disclosure Standard which allows companies to
] label GM
foods by text, symbol, or QR codes. Economics experts, Brandon McFadden from
the University of Florida, and Jayson Lusk from Purdue University, together
with their team surveyed 1,132 respondents to find the best ways to
communicate whether a food contain GM products. The researchers measured the
consumers' willingness to pay for a dozen granola bars and a pound of
apples. Results showed that consumers are willing to spend 35 cents more for
products with non-GMO project verified label compared to those with GM
label; while they are willing to pay 9 cents more for products with USDA
organic label. For apples, they are willing to pay more for those with USDA
organic label compared to those with non-GMO project label. The respondents'
answers may imply that the consumers do not understand the difference
between the two labels.
They also found that consumers are willing to pay more for GM food if the
information is provided by a QR code. According to McFadden, this finding
implies that several respondents did not scan the QR code. If all consumers
used the QR code, there would not be a significant difference in their
willingness to pay.