Since the 1990s, there has been an emergence of a new type of biotechnology namely, Genetically Modified Food technology (GM). GM organisms result from biotechnological process which consists of altering traits of original crops by inserting the DNA of another organism (MacCracken et al., 2011). When GM foods were first introduced to market in 1994, researchers saw the need to conduct numerous studies in order to identify benefits and risks of this new technology (Butcher, 2009). However, as is the case with all innovations, researchers need a large time frame, in order to perform thorough research for establishing a set of associated benefits and risks. The consequent uncertainty regarding benefits and unknown risks of this technology has influenced public perception towards GM foods. As a result, this phenomenon has been an issue for both the food industry and governments. In addition, this innovation has divided the public into three categories namely the ones with positive views, the anti-GM and the neutral.
The past literature focused more on public understanding of GM and its connections to public information. Another aspect that the literature has focused on is the influence of public information on public perception. For instance, the studies conducted by Bredahl et al. (1998) were one of the most important in this regard, providing valuable information about public knowledge regarding GM and its perceptions. Nonetheless, the literature did not provide any information about the factors that shape public attitudes to GM, and lacked in providing reasons of the changes in public attitudes towards GM. Hence, the aim of this research is to investigate public knowledge and different attitudes towards GM food; specifically factors that shape these attitudes.
[...] The purpose of this project is to deeply understand consumers' attitudes towards Genetically Modified Food. I am expecting to complete about 50 questionnaires in order to have a viable and reliable project. The self-administered questionnaire includes one open-ended and 14 closed questions which enclose information about GM food system. In order to promise an entire confidentiality of your responses, the questionnaire will be anonymous. It means that even the researcher itself will not be able to identify responses of each participant. [...]
[...] Attitudes about genetically modified foods among students. Retrieved February 8th, 2012 from: http://journals.usamvcj.ro/horticulture/article/viewFile/1745/1711 Pidgeon, N.F., Poortinga, W., Rowe, G., Horlick-Jones, T., Walls, J. and O'Riordan, T. (2005). Using surveys in public participation processes for risk decision making: The case of the 2003 British GM nation? Public debate. Risk Analysis, 25(2), 467-479. Ronteltap, A., van Trijp, J.C.M., Renes, R. J. and Frewer, L. J. (2007). Consumer acceptance of technology-based food innovations. Appetite, 49, 1-17. Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. [...]
[...] A considerable amount of literature has focused on public attitudes to GM food. Moreover, it can be recognised that the studies carried out by the FSA could be one of the most important in this subject. Based on the above analysis, it can be explained that public knowledge about this biotechnology is linked to the information provided and this later in its turn influence public perception. The studies that covered this aspect were valuable and would be helpful for this research. [...]
[...] The results of the survey were consistent with suggestions by Bredhal et al. (1998), which demonstrated that the public is more likely to trust environmental groups and scientists rather than government or the food industry. The findings are in agreement with this view, as none of the participants trust government as a source of knowledge and only two of them answered the food industry. In addition, as figure 13 suggests, 41% of participants shape their views to GM according to scientists (professionals); 7% according to environmental groups; and 28% answer “others” by choosing both scientists and environmental groups. [...]
[...] Are you familiar with the term GM Food (Genetically Modified Food)? B. Yes. B. No. C. Not sure. 7. How much do you rate your level of understanding of GM? 1 2 3 4 5 (Very Low) (Very High) 8. How well do you think public information about GM is? 1 2 3 4 5 (Not well) (Very well) 9. From where do you get your information about GM? B. Newspaper. B. T.V. C. Radio. D. Government. E. Supermarket. F. [...]
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