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Sanchez, Wen Chien
The influence of consumer knowledge on willingness to pay for non-genetically modified foods in Taiwan: A structural equation model.

Order No. AAT 3417232

Genetically modified (GM) food and crops became commercially available in 1994. Since then, widespread debates and controversies about the use of biotechnology in food production have emerged, mostly in western countries.

This study examined willingness to pay for non-GM food in a Taiwan sample. In conjunction with this, the theory of planned behavior (TPB) was evaluated to determine the relative importance of factors influencing purchasing behavior. In this study, Ajzen's TPB model was extended to comprise two more constructs related to willingness to pay ( WTP ) for non-GM food. These two added factors were Knowledge about GM food and Self-identity . Distinguishing from previous TPB studies, this study employs path analysis to further explain the causal relationship in the model. A saturated TPB model was tested and an augmented TPB model was found to be a better framework in explaining influences on behavioral intentions.

Results indicated that the majority of respondents were willing to pay a 30% premium to avoid GM tofu. The total effects of Knowledge and PBC on WTP were negative and significant indicating that more knowledge about GM food and more perceived behavior control over choosing non-GM food result in willingness to pay more for avoiding GM food. The total effects of Self-identity and Subjective Norms on WTP were positive and significant indicating that one's self-identity and perceived social pressure about eating non-GM food positively influence his or her willingness to pay for non-GM food. Furthermore, consumers' knowledge about GM food positively influences their attitude and intentions toward non-GM food. These findings unequivocally substantiate that there is a demand for non-GM foods in Taiwan. This demand calls for alternative agriculture such as Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture which is introduced in this study.

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