Transatlantic differences in consumer preferences

Jutta Roosen, Jayson Lusk, John Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The EU prohibits imports of hormone-treated beef and is about to impose labelling and traceability requirements on GMOs. Both policies have created growing unease on the part of exporting countries, The EU claims that public health concerns and consumers' preferences justify the trade restrictions, while exporters maintain that the rules serve primarily to protect domestic agriculture by limiting international competition. In a consumer study in France, Germany, the UK, and the US, we determine if consumers' preferences, as reflected in willingness-to-pay estimates, are different across the Atlantic, Our study covered two products: beef from cattle treated by hormones and from cattle fed genetically modified corn. Our results suggest that French consumers are willing to pay more than US consumers for beef from cattle not administered hormones. There are, however, no significant differences among German, UK and US consumers. In contrast, consumers in France, Germany and the UK are willing to pay more for beef from animals not fed GM corn than are US consumers, Given these results and current policy developments, it seems unlikely that the EU will retract its labelling requirements on GM food and feed, and future trade disputes are likely to emerge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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