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JM Webinar: The Perils of GMO Labeling

Genetically modified (GM) foods are widespread worldwide, but they are also controversial and subject to regulatory oversight. For example, in the United States, all GM foods will be required to display a “Bioengineered” label by 2022, a policy decision that is heavily debated. Most scientists claim that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods are safe for human consumption and offer societal benefits such as better nutritional content. In contrast, many consumers have an overall negative attitude toward GMOs. These conflicting views create a fundamental tension for policymakers in how GM-foods should be labeled.

This webinar features Journal of Marketing research that examines the impact of different GMO labeling policy regimes on products consumers choose. The findings show that both “No GMO” labels and “Contains GMO” disclosures (like the new “Bioengineered” label) shift demand away from products containing GMOs and persuade consumers with no negative attitudes about GMOs to avoid such products. The findings raise fundamental issues about the appropriateness of government labeling policies that persuade as much as they inform — favoring one set of marketers over another when their products are equally safe and healthy according to scientific consensus. Policy makers and food marketers are part of the session to debate this important topic.

Featured speakers: Neeraj Arora (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Sarah Moshary (University of Chicago), Sabrina Roberts (UK Food Standards Agency), Sydney Scott (Washington University in St. Louis), and Maha Tahiri (Nutrition Sustainability Strategies LLC).

Full Journal of Marketing article:

Read the scholarly insight for this study here.