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CONSUMER ATTITUDES AND DECISION-MAKING WITH REGARD TO GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD PRODUCTS

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Consumers wary of GM foods

An investigation into consumer acceptance of genetically modified food reveals that consumers remain very sceptical about genetic modification.

Health

Research has been carried out into attitudes and purchasing choices in four countries. Consumers in Germany, Denmark, Italy and the United Kingdom were questioned about their feelings towards genetic modification. Experiments were also carried out offering choices between genetically modified and non-genetically modified food. In all cases, consumers were hostile towards any kind of genetic modification. There were generally perceived to be no real benefits in genetic modification. Conversely, there was a fear of undesirable consequences resulting from tampering with nature. German and Danish consumers expressed the greatest scepticism towards genetically modified products, but in all the countries there was clear opposition. It was found that the attitudes of consumers are notably different from those of the scientific community. It is apparent from this research that industries involved in genetic modification have much to do to persuade consumers to accept their products. On the other hand, the consumers doubts ensure that there is a substantial market available to organic farmers.

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