The Russians do not want to buy even the cheapest products with GMOs

The Russians do not want to buy even the cheapest products with GMOs

Most of the inhabitants of large Russian cities are wary of food with the addition of “genetically modified products”.

An international group of researchers, among whom were scientists from the HSE, we find out how residents of Russia tend to buy genetically modified food. As it turned out, only the poorest segments of the population ready for such purchases, and only under the condition that such food will be much cheaper than usual (to date, such a condition is in practice not done). Relevant article accepted for publication in Food Policy.

The researchers conducted a survey of 300 inhabitants of the city of Perm is a major Russian regional center. Respondents had a median age of 35.2 years, was slightly younger than the average inhabitant of Perm (38.7 years, about the same average age in Russia as a whole).

79,67% of them said they do not want to buy bread, partly derived from GM crops even if it is cheaper than usual by up to 50 percent. Of 12.00 percent claimed to buy GM bread even if it will cost the same as usual, and 8.33% — if it is cheaper than usual by up to 50 percent.

In addition, the survey was concerned with preferences of Perm in relation to imported and domestic food. 84,33% of them stated that they prefer food products of domestic production.

Interestingly, gender or income was not a factor that seriously influenced the respondents ‘ answers. This, combined with the absence of abstentions from specific answers, raises the question of how carefully the authors of the study controlled primary data collection. Typically, in surveys on such controversial issues there are always those who refrain from responses due to lack of awareness and the fact that among 300 respondents they were not, looks relatively strange.

The study has several limitations that hinder its interpretation as an accurate consumer sentiment throughout Russia. First, 300 people is a very small sample, the results of which are difficult to distribute even a larger region. Secondly, Perm is a large but provincial city. Russia, as a country, is characterized by excessive accumulation of the population in Moscow and St. Petersburg — cities, where he lives every seventh citizen of our state. It is widely known that the views of residents of these cities, especially Moscow, indistinguishable from the views of the people of the province. This probably applies to matters to do with GMOs.