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Would “GMO” Product Labels Lead Consumers to Avoid these Foods at the Store?

New research by AAEA members featured in AJAE

In 2012, a vote took place on Proposition 37 in California, which failed. Proposition 37 would have mandated significant labeling on all products containing GM ingredients (with some minor exceptions). The Federal Government passed a labeling requirement of Genetically Modified (GM) products in 2016, but is still a subject of controversy.

In the new article featured in American Journal of Agricultural Economics, “Willingness to Pay vs. Willingness to Vote: Consumer and Voter Avoidance of Generically Modified Foods,” Scott Kaplan, Gina Waterfield, and David Zilberman from the University of California, Berkeley use a survey to look into the relationship between an individual vote to ban or label a controversial technology, and their willingness-to-pay to avoid such a technology.

Kaplan says, “Even though there may be significant support for banning or labeling GM-products, a significant portion of the population may be willing to purchase GM products if they are cheaper than conventional products. In addition, certain types of consumers may exhibit stronger opposition to GM-products with their voting choices than is suggested by their actual purchasing behavior.”

If you are interested in setting up an interview with Kaplan, please contact Allison Scheetz in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Scheetz
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190