Consumers’ preferences for bread: transgenic, cisgenic, organic or pesticide-free?

Consumers are apprehensive about transgenic technologies, so cisgenics, which limit gene transfers to sexually compatible organisms, have been suggested to address consumer concerns. We study consumer preferences for rye bread alternatives based on transgenic or cisgenic rye, grown conventionally or without the use of pesticides, relative to traditionally bred rye, grown with conventional or organic farming methods. Stated preference (SP) data from a choice experiment are combined with revealed preference (RP) data from market purchases from the same respondents. Results show that respondents prefer pesticide-free production methods, and that while cisgenics is preferred over transgenics, the majority of respondents favour traditional breeding methods. The distribution in preferences suggests that some respondents prefer bread from cisgenic crops produced without pesticides over traditional crops produced using pesticides. Preferences for organic bread are stronger than for pesticide-free products. From a policy perspective results suggest that excluding cisgenics from mandatory labeling in the EU, or including it in the voluntary non-GM labelling in the US, would cause welfare losses for consumers.