Kofi Britwum
University of Maine
Amalia Yiannaka
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Karoline Kastanek
John Deere

We examine public attitudes and purchase intentions for genetically engineered (GE) nutraceuticals that either offer general health benefits or disease prevention/treatment. A survey that elicited views on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), preferences and purchase intention for GE nutraceuticals and how they are perceived with respect to their conventional and organic counterparts, as well as demographic information, was completed by 1,271 randomly selected students at a Midwestern university. Survey results show that even though the majority of respondents preferred GE nutraceuticals that could prevent or treat diseases to those that offer general health benefits, only a quarter of participants were willing to pay more for these products—an average premium of 20%. Empirical results show that familiarity with genetic modification, shopping habits, and attitudes towards GMOs influence preferences for GE nutraceuticals.

Key words: Genetic modification, genetically engineered nutraceuticals, organic food, purchase intentions, willingness to pay.