What's happening at IRRI

PB & GB Divisions Seminar

Monday, April 24, 2017, 04:00pm - 05:00pm


Title: Are consumers willing to accept GM biofortified rice?

Despite various promising efforts in research and development on GM biofortification, the use of biotechnology for developing micronutrient-rich crops is still plagued by controversy while facing various political and regulatory hurdles, which also impedes commercialization of Golden Rice as the first GM biofortified crop. Aside from these forces, the success of their future commercialization will crucially hinge on consumer acceptance. To effectively support regions where the need to enhance micronutrient intake levels through such GM crops is highest, consumers should first embrace these crops. Besides technical prerequisites, particularly the bioavailability and stability of the targeted vitamins or minerals, it is the consumer who will ultimately determine the magnitude of the reduction of micronutrient malnutrition through GM biofortification. This seminar will provide an in-depth examination of consumer studies dealing with GM biofortified crops, and willingness-to-pay, i.e. the premium consumers are prepared to pay for such GM crops, in particular. Thereby, specific attention will be devoted to the role of information, which is deemed crucial. The findings allow researchers to better anticipate potential methodological biases when examining willingness-to-pay, while it gives policy makers and other stakeholders a broad understanding of the potential demand for different biofortified crops in various settings. The findings demonstrate that biofortification by genetic engineering as a health policy intervention is well accepted by the majority of its key beneficiaries, with consumers’ premium levels generally above 20%. However, unlike conventional biofortification, negative GM information may have a devastating impact on future acceptance.

Dr. Hans De Steur
Div. Agri-food marketing & Chain Management
​Dept. Agricultural Economics
​Faculty of Bio-Science Engineering
​Ghent University


Rm A, DL Umali Bldg.