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A study of current attitudes to genetically modified food

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  1. Introduction
  2. A study of current attitudes to GM food
  3. Literature review
  4. Public knowledge of GM food
  5. Public attitudes to GM food
  6. Factors that shape public attitudes
  7. Conclusion

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. [...]


[...] This study was conducted using survey strategy in order to meet its research purpose. Therefore, the questionnaire was conducted among a convenient sample of 30 participants near supermarkets of the West End of Glasgow. The results show that overall the public is knowledgeable about GM food. In addition, the findings agree with previous literature about individuals' reliance on some sources of information rather than others with regards to GM food. Moreover, this study brings to the literature a set of factors that influence consumers' different attitudes towards GM food. [...]

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