Discusses the importance of effective risk‐benefit communication about genetic engineering in food production. The consumer, industry and science are all likely to benefit from the creation of an “informed consumer”. There is a need to develop strategies to maximize the effectiveness of such communication, in order to reach target audiences. Risk‐benefit communication is likely to require a different approach to that which has evolved from the communication of risk information alone. Investigates future research needs and concludes that risk‐benefit communication will usefully invoke public debate about future directions for technological evolution and development.
Presents experimental work which attempts to understand whatpsychological mechanisms are likely to influence consumer acceptance ofgenetically engineered food, and the…
Presents experimental work which attempts to understand what psychological mechanisms are likely to influence consumer acceptance of genetically engineered food, and the relationship between consumer attitudes towards the technology and consumer acceptance of its products. Discusses the relationship between consumer risk perceptions and consumer reactions; the influence of public knowledge and understanding of the technology on attitudes; media impact; ethical concern; and the importance of perceived need for the technology. Concludes that the most important determinant of consumer acceptance of genetic engineering in food technology is likely to be perceptions of benefit resulting from application of the technology. Suggests that the success of communication strategies is likely to depend on effective provision of information regarding the tangible benefits of the technology, although it is important that a dialogue be established between communicators and the lay public, so that issues addressed reflect the real concerns of the public.