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Environment and Development Economics

Research Article

‘If labels for GM food were present, would consumers trust them?’ Insights from a consumer survey in Uganda

Enoch Mutebi Kikulwea1, José Falck-Zepedaa2 and Justus Wesselera3

a1 Georg-August-University Goettingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Platz der Goettinger Sieben 5, 37073 Goettingen, Germany. E-mail:;

a2 Environment and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute, USA. E-mail:

a3 Technische Universitaet München, Agricultural and Food Economics, Germany. E-mail:


Food labelling is costly. Food labelling is often demanded with the introduction of new food products such as genetically modified (GM) food. If consumers do not have trust in the label, scarce resources are wasted. This paper investigates factors affecting the trust in food labels among Ugandan consumers. The results suggest that older, less-educated individuals of smaller household sizes and with trust in government institutions have more trust in food labels. Other factors were also found to be important. The government has to consider those differences in consumer trust when designing a GM labelling policy.

(Received January 15 2013)

(Revised October 06 2013)

(Accepted October 17 2013)