A Noumenic approach to consumer behavior on genetically modified food: impact of knowledge and fear on consumer’s preferences

The case of a genetically modified food versus knowledge and fear: A Noumenic approach for consumer behavior was trying to assess Genetically Modified food impact on consumer’s preferences, considering a new Noumenic approach through KFB model. “Genetically modified foods” is an important affair for modern consumers. On this concept, an investigation on a sample size survey was conducted in Italy by eminent scientists Flavio Boccia, Daniela Covino and Pasquale Sarnacchiaro, from the Department of Economic and Legal Studies, Parthenope University of Naples and Department of Law and Economics, Unitelma Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.

Genetically modified material sounds like a science fiction territory, but in fact, much of what we bite on a regular basis is a genetically modified organism (GMO). You know what? These are some of most common genetically modified foods listed. They are corn, soy, yellow crookneck squash and zucchini, alfalfa, canola, sugar beets.

The GM foods or genetically engineer foods or bioengineered foods, according to the World Health Organization, derive from “Genetically modified organisms”, that can be defined as organisms (i.e. plants, animals or microorganisms) in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination.

The GMOs have been accessed for commercial gain since the 1990s. However, consumer awareness about genetically modified organisms has not increased at the same rate as the approval of GM crops. The Consumers from worldwide are displaying defined understanding, wrong idea, and even unfamiliar with GM food products. Many of them received information from the mediums like media, internet, and other news sources.

This study mainly contains two aims which are listed as, a significant model in order to distribute origins of behaviors regarding consumer’s Genetic Modified food preferences and the second aim is only by reasoning it is possible to ensure that specific variables do not condition purchasing behavior.

As we discussed, the theme of genetically modified organisms is very important for modern consumers, especially when they access novel foods. Flavio Boccia, and his team from Italy, said that “We have attempted to assess the effect of genetically modified foods on the consumer’s preferences, considering a new perception of ours (beyond the previously vision), that is a Noumenic approach. Practically, GM foods cannot be perceived in a tangible way (because they are substantially equivalent to conventional products); they can be understood only through reasoning and, therefore, knowledge. Knowledge could be the variable that dampens the effect of fear and consequent behaviour”.

They also conducted an investigation on a sample size survey. The analysis was carried out in a characteristic sample of more than 900 Italian families, selected based on a functional relationship to the objectives of the work. The aims of the present study were: firstly, investigating consumer’s preferences regarding genetically modified food consumption and developing a quantitative model to formalize the origins of behavior regarding consumer’s preferences toward genetically modified food consumption; secondly, detecting the drivers of their purchase, underlining that only by reasoning is it possible to ensure that specific variables don’t condition purchasing behavior.

Future Genetic Modified organisms are probably to contain plants with improved fighting across plant disease or dryness, crops with increased nutrient levels, improved species with better growth characteristics.

Keywords: Company, Consumer, Genetically modified organism, Food, Latent variable, Marketing, Partial least square


Boccia, F., Covino, D., Sarnacchiaro, P. (2018). Genetically modified food versus knowledge and fear: A Noumenic approach for consumer behaviour. Food Research International, 111, pp. 682-688.

Boccia, F., Peluso, F. (2018). Future food and economic sustainability: the nutraceutical technology. Quality – Access to Success, 19 (167).

Sarnacchiaro, P., Boccia, F. (2018). Some remarks on measurement models in the structural equation model: an application for socially responsible food consumption. Journal of Applied Statistics, 45 (7), pp. 1193-1208.

Boccia, F. (2016). Consumer perception: an analysis on second generation genetically modified foods. Nutrition and Food Science, 46 (5), pp. 637-646.

Covino, D., Boccia, F. (2016). Potentialities of new agri-biotechnology for sustainable nutrition. Rivista di Studi sulla Sostenibilità, 2, pp. 97-106.

Boccia, F., Sarnacchiaro, P. (2015), Genetically Modified Foods and Consumer Perspective. Recent Patents on Food, Nutrition & Agriculture, 7 (1), pp. 28-34.

Boccia, F. (2015). Genetically Modified Organisms: What Issues in the Italian Market?. Quality – Access to Success, 16 (145), pp. 105-110.

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