Purpose: The spread of genetically modified (GM) foodstuffs is related to consumer scepticism in Europe, and particularly in Italy. Consumer scepticism in turn depends on the low level of public knowledge about the health consequences, in terms of risks and benefits, of consuming these GM foods. This paper aims, first and foremost, to investigate the phenomenon of GM foodstuffs consumption in Italy and, then, to construct a statistical model for analysing the Italian habits regarding this consumption. Furthermore, this model allows us to formalize the origins of behaviour regarding GM foodstuffs consumption and to detect the drivers of their purchase. Design/methodology/approach: From January 2009 to May 2009, 1,061 public high school students in 25 randomly selected schools of a metropolitan area (Naples, South Italy) were questioned. More precisely, each student was given a questionnaire regarding, in the first part, school cultural characteristics and, then, awareness and GM food consumption. A Likert scale was used to answer the questions. After collecting data, the authors chose to apply structural equation modelling, as it is one of the general and powerful multivariate analysis technique useful to simultaneously analyse and evaluate multivariate hypotheses. Findings: The findings showed that GM food consumption by Italian students depended on the knowledge of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and on the impact of this organisms both on human health and the environment. Therefore, in order to help consumers to choose whether or not to eat GM foods, a standardized evaluation system of human health and environmental consequences produced by GMO and GM foods should be created. In particular, the authors introduced a general framework that could help researchers/users to select and assess a hierarchy of the influence of factors on Italian habits regarding the consumption of GM foodstuffs. Originality/value: In this research, the authors propose a structural equation model – full formative measurement model – that allows to define the origins of behaviour towards GM food consumption and to detect the drivers of their purchase. Particularly, the authors showed that GM food consumption depended on the knowledge of GMOs and on the impact of the GMOs on human health and the environment.
|Titolo:||A structural equation model for the analysis of genetically modified foods consumption: A case study|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|