Consumers’ potential reactions toward genetically modified (GM) foods affect their commercial feasibility and determine the decisions of economic agents. Inconsistent information on GM foods has created a sense of uncertainty in Chinese consumers’ mind. This paper studies how the information about risks and benefits of GM foods from major sources influences Chinese consumer intention to purchase GM soybean oil. This analysis uses data from a survey of 880 residents randomly sampled from 13 cities in Jiangsu province. Using a multinomial logit model, we analyze the effects of information consistency and source credibility. The results show because of new information about 17.36% of consumers increase their intention to purchase GM soybean oil, and 15.10% of consumers decrease purchase intention. Compared to consistent information, inconsistent information can maximize change of purchase intention. The attitude change is greatest when there is a moderate difference between the new information and the initial consumer attitude. Furthermore, trust in biotechnology research institutes, government departments about GM, and GM experts are easier to promote consumers to change their intention to purchase GM soybean oil in a positive direction. Finally, we discuss implications for agencies as to strengthening the regulation and supervision of information sources, and including public-involved policies.
Abbreviations: GM, Genetically modified; GMOs, Genetically modified organisms; AGGMO, Center of Agriculture’s Genetically Modified Organisms’ safety management and policy research organization at Nanjing Agricultural University; MARA, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs; ¥1 (RMB)≈$6.8 (USD).