EMAC director Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes co-authored new article titled: Media Coverage, Public Perceptions, and Consumer Behavior: Insights from New Food Technologies. The media often play the role of translating new science to consumers. The article discusses the recent literature that has examined the supply and demand factors that affect media coverage of new food technologies and the impact on public perceptions and consumer behavior toward food that utilizes these technologies. The article starts with a discussion of the ways in which the media influence public perceptions and consumer behavior related to foods made with new technologies. It then covers the incentives of news media and the potential sources of biases in their reporting. The article reviews empirical studies that have examined media reporting of new agricultural and food technologies, especially biotechnology, in terms of both their agenda setting and framing effects and the social amplification of risk. It also synthesizes the findings of studies that have examined the influence of media coverage on public attitudes and consumer behavior.
McCluskey, J., N. Kalaitzandonakes, and J. Swinnen “Media Coverage, Public Perceptions, and Consumer Behavior: Insights from New Food Technologies” Annual Review of Resource Economics, 8:467–86, 2016
See the article here.
Genetically modified organisms are a technology used by many companies, but often it becomes synonymous with one company.
GMO. It’s a term shrouded in mystery. A scapegoat for real and perceived agricultural and food system ills, the acronym conjures visions of monoculture, pesticides, chemicals, junk food, obesity, and the transformation of life forms into intellectual property. Perhaps the most common menace summoned when “GMO” is uttered: Monsanto. Mentions of genetic engineering (GE) technology, seemingly without fail, result in “but Monsanto” protests, along with amalgamated concerns about food.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service hosted a conference from March 12 to 13 at North Carolina State University. The conference focused on the importance of coexistence between conventional, organic, identity preserved, and genetically engineered crops.
The conference was a place where experts could put in their two cents and help the USDA form a plan to better promote agricultural coexistence in the US. Sessions were organized to discuss the the current state of affairs, challenges, and additional steps the USDA is considering to respond to the challenges.
EMAC Director, Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, presented at the workshop. His speech focused on the economic lessons learned from non-GM markets in the United States. Other speakers included Gary Woodward, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs; Ron Moore, Secretary of the American Soybean Association; and Errol Schweizer, Executive Global Grocery Coordinator for Whole Foods Market.
A systematic overview of more than 100 studies comparing organic and conventional farming finds that the crop yields of organic agriculture are higher than previously thought. The study, conducted by UC Berkeley researchers, also found that certain practices could further shrink the productivity gap between organic crops and conventional farming.
The study, to be published online Wednesday, Dec. 10, in theProceedings of the Royal Society B, tackles the lingering perception that organic farming, while offering an environmentally sustainable alternative to chemically intensive agriculture, cannot produce enough food to satisfy the world’s appetite.