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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2008

Anthimia M. Batrinou, Vassilis Spiliotis and George Sakellaris

The purpose of this paper is to examine how label information may affect the acceptability by young consumers of a food produced by genetic engineering methods.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how label information may affect the acceptability by young consumers of a food produced by genetic engineering methods.

Design/methodology/approach

A popular snack derived from maize (corn chip) was presented with five different labels (“organic corn”, “conventional corn”, “product that contains genetically modified (GM) corn”, “product that contains GM corn approved by EU”, “non‐classified corn”) to 229 university students in Greece in order to taste it.

Findings

The results obtained showed that the GM label evoked a deeply rooted negative attitude as more than half of participants (63 per cent) refused to taste even a single piece of the product. The product labelled “GM but approved by EU” was viewed as more credible but still 28 per cent refused to sample. The conclusion was that although the feeling of trust increased considerably when the label message was supported by a certifying authority, a large proportion (almost one third) of participants refused to taste a product that had been approved by the EU for nearly a decade.

Practical implications

This result demonstrated in an emphatic way a degree of phobia concerning GM food and the importance of carefully worded labelling.

Originality/value

The attitude of consumers after direct experience with a GM food product had never been reported for Greece and these findings may serve as an exploratory tool for further investigations on GM food related attitudes.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 110 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Anthimia M. Batrinou, Evangelia Dimitriou, Dionisios Liatsos and Vassiliki Pletsa

This paper examines the attitudes of young Greek University students towards genetically modified (GM) foods and studies the effect of appropriate information in shaping…

3071

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the attitudes of young Greek University students towards genetically modified (GM) foods and studies the effect of appropriate information in shaping this attitude.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was distributed to 433 Greek students of the Technological Educational Institute of Athens during the academic year 2003‐2004. Results were processed by SPSS 11.0.

Findings

The survey reveals that although Greek University students are more informed than the general population about genetic modification issues, still a large proportion (48 per cent) are unaware of what is exactly a GM plant and 55.3 per cent believe that GM foods may impose risks for public health and the environment. However, after reading a short informative statement the “negative” attitude of respondents is decreased by 15.5 percentage units and the “positive” attitude is increased by 13.2 percentage units. These results show that appropriate information could affect the acceptability of a technological innovation. Future research is required to investigate how scientists could intervene in order to make the GM issue clear on a scientific basis.

Originality/value

The findings of this study could be useful to those who are seeking to elucidate the complex issue of GM food acceptance and have an interest in establishing communication between the scientific community and the public, such as regulatory authorities, the industry or academics.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 September 2009

Anthimia M. Batrinou and Anastassia Kanellou

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how healthy food options recommended by the Mediterranean diet pyramid are actually consumed and advertised.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how healthy food options recommended by the Mediterranean diet pyramid are actually consumed and advertised.

Design/methodology/approach

Three types of food consumptions in Greece are compared, the diet recommended by the Mediterranean diet pyramid, the actual consumption as was presented by the Data Food NEtwortking project and the advertising expenditure spent in the food sector. Data are presented in the form of a “food advertising pyramid”, equivalent to the food choices pyramids.

Findings

Comparison of the “food advertising pyramid” with the Mediterranean food pyramid reveals that the two pyramids have a somehow reverse relationship, meaning that the recommended for frequent consumption “healthy” food categories of the Mediterranean diet pyramid (placed at the base of the pyramid such as cereals, fruits and vegetables) were the least advertised by the food industry, and the less “healthy” options (dairy and sugary products) were the most advertised. This trend was more evident in advertisements targeted to children. An exception was the high advertising of yoghurt, a probiotic product considered to be a healthy food option.

Originality/value

The findings of this paper could be useful to nutritionists and national health authorities who should take into consideration the impact of food advertisement upon their strategy for healthy nutrition and prevention of obesity in childhood.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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