Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Over 100 interviews were held during 1997 with food manufacturers and retailers, trade associations, government departments, consumer groups, environmental organs and academic scientists to explore views on the value and desirability of biotechnology products, in particular genetically-modified foods. In general, European consumers did not seem to be against the pharmaceutical products of biotechnology but have stronger objections to genetically-modified food. These are based mainly on fears for the health and safety of the consumer, the possibility of deleterious effects on the environment, and various moral and ethical concerns about interfering with nature. So far the introduction of genetically-modified foods has occurred slowly, and this is probably partly a consequence of these attitudes. The perceived attitudes of consumers has also given rise to varying approaches by suppliers to the possible introduction of transgenic foods. Consumer understanding of biotechnology at a scientific level was found to be patchy. There is clearly both a need and an opportunity for improving public understanding, particularly if such information can be provided by organs which are not seen to be directly commercially involved. Such education would aim to enable individuals to make rational choices about biotechnology, based on reason rather than emotion.

Additional information

Authors: Moses V, Kings College, London (GB)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 18492 EN (1998) 46pp.
Availability: Available from OOPEC Sales agents
ISBN: 92-828-4569-9
Record Number: 199910043 / Last updated on: 1999-02-11
Original language: en
Available languages: en