Experts and activists: How information affects the demand for food irradiation

D. J. Hayes, J. A. Fox, J. F. Shogren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The public must decide between assertions made about food safety through irradiation by advocacy groups and by scientific experts. Herein we discuss the policy implications of experimental results that show how favorable and unfavorable information on food irradiation to reduce risks affects willingness-to-pay to control the food-borne pathogen Trichinella in irradiated pork. The surprising result is that when we presented both positive and negative information simultaneously, the negative information clearly dominated. This was true even though the source of the negative information was identified as being a consumer advocacy group and the information itself was written in a manner that was non-scientific.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-193
Number of pages9
JournalFood Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumer experiments
  • Food demand
  • Information impact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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