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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Susan Miles, Øydis Ueland and Lynn J. Frewer

This study aimed to investigate the impact of information about traceability and new detection methods for identifying geneticallymodified organisms in food, on consumer…

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6389

Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to investigate the impact of information about traceability and new detection methods for identifying geneticallymodified organisms in food, on consumer attitudes towards geneticallymodified food and consumer trust in regulators in Italy, Norway and England. It further aimed to investigate public preferences for labelling of geneticallymodified foods in these three countries.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was designed to investigate public attitudes toward geneticallymodified food and trust in different information sources. Participants were recruited in Italy, Norway and England for this study. A between subjects design was used, where each participant was randomly allocated to either the experimental “information condition”, or the control “no information condition”.

Findings

Receiving information about new detection methods and traceability did not directly influence consumer attitudes towards geneticallymodified foods or trust in regulators. However, response to the development of an effective system of traceability for geneticallymodified food and ingredients throughout the food chain was positive. People's preferences for labelling of geneticallymodified food were “process‐based”, in that there was a desire for all food produced using genetic modification or containing geneticallymodified ingredients to be labelled.

Originality/value

An open and transparent system of labelling regarding geneticallymodified foods and ingredients, coupled with effective traceability mechanisms, is likely to provide the best basis for consumer choice regarding the consumption of geneticallymodified foods. This information will be useful for both national and international regulators, and the various sectors of the food industry. The study provides useful information about likely public reaction to new EU labelling and traceability regulations.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 107 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1998

Michele Sadler

European regulations for labelling the genetically modified commodity crops Round‐up Ready Soya and Bt Maize have been agreed and came into force on 1 September 1998. The…

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495

Abstract

European regulations for labelling the genetically modified commodity crops Round‐up Ready Soya and Bt Maize have been agreed and came into force on 1 September 1998. The regulation requires labelling of ingredients that contain genetically modified DNA or modified protein. Labelling is not required where processing has resulted in modified DNA or protein being destroyed. With the aim of providing consumer information and ensuring consumer choice, UK industry had phased in labelling of genetically modified soya and maize protein since January 1998, ahead of the EU regulation being agreed. This voluntary labelling was on the basis of guidelines drawn up by an IGD Working Group. The voluntary guidelines are very similar to the EU labelling regulation. Under the terms of the labelling regulation, further discussions are necessary in Europe to agree a list of ingredients that will not require labelling on the basis that no modified DNA or protein is present, with the aim that these ingredients do not need to be tested each time they are used. Where efforts have been taken to source the non‐genetically modified varieties, the concept of a threshold has been put forward to allow for adventitious mixing with the genetically modified crop. Further discussions are necessary to agree where the threshold should be set. It is expected that the regulation will be the basis for labelling future genetically modified products.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 98 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Diane Ryland

Seeks to answer the question “whose interests are being served by the laws of purporting to regulate genetically modified organisms?“ Considers the interests of the…

Abstract

Seeks to answer the question “whose interests are being served by the laws of purporting to regulate genetically modified organisms?“ Considers the interests of the seed/chemical multinational companies, trade and investment for the countries in which these companies operate and the innovation of science and technology. Covers the European interests with regards to the single internal market and the conflict this can cause between economic and environmental/health interests. Looks at the issues from the US perspective and world trade. Continues by covering nature and the environment followed by health and safety and the rights of consumers. Assesses the regulations of the European community in order to find what protection is available.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 43 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1996

Basma Ellahi

Explores the scope for using genetically modified organisms by undertaking a survey which considered awareness (knowledge) of and policy implications for both the UK food

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2419

Abstract

Explores the scope for using genetically modified organisms by undertaking a survey which considered awareness (knowledge) of and policy implications for both the UK food retailer and manufacturer. Uses interviews and a postal questionnaire. Finds that the UK food retailing industry is generally well‐informed, while in contrast to the retailers, food manufacturers are, in general, poorly informed and show a lack of awareness of possible products and the implications their usage may have for their companies. Few are abreast of research and development in this area. Both retailers and food manufacturers believe that biotechnology could be applied beneficially to many aspects of food production, and are aware of the many consumer concerns and issues which need to be addressed.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 98 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Clare D’Souza and Ali Quazi

The purpose of this paper is to express a general review on how best in the present time can one market genetically modified (GM) foods in the face of the controversial…

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2821

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to express a general review on how best in the present time can one market genetically modified (GM) foods in the face of the controversial arguments faced globally. Despite the importance of marketing, many organizations though they understand its worth, fail to find radical strategic solutions for the problems encountered by their products. In fact most of them find that disclosing GM ingredients will prohibit consumers from buying their products, whilst, the few GM foods that were proactively marketed indicated the potential of effective marketing and successful product placement.

Design/methodology/approach

To be able to market GM foods, an understanding of customer value and problems customers envisage is discussed. The paper attempts to provide a general global perspective on consumer’s views about these issues and with the help of a conceptual model it attempts to identify some of the problems related with marketing GM foods.

Findings

The findings indicate that these products would have to be repositioned as being seen as less risky and more beneficial to consumers in the light that they can be scientifically proven.

Originality/value

This research is innovative in the sense it demonstrates an understanding of how to provide customer value for not only consumers who are the ultimate end users but also provides an insight to a broader audience such as manufacturers, agriculturalists and marketing professionals as to what are some of the contributing factors that consumers look for to make an informed choice.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Neela Badrie, Marynese Titre, Martha Jueanville and Faye D'Heureux‐Calix

This study sets out to assess public awareness and perception of genetically modified (GM) foods in Trinidad, West Indies.

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2336

Abstract

Purpose

This study sets out to assess public awareness and perception of genetically modified (GM) foods in Trinidad, West Indies.

Design/methodology/approach

Respondents (113) were interviewed by structured questionnaire on demographics, awareness, perceived risks, perceived benefits, labelling, availability of GM foods and responsibility for information.

Findings

Some respondents (31.0 per cent) had not heard of GM foods. Most (64.6 per cent) respondents were willing (“very” or “somewhat”) to purchase GM foods, if considered healthier than conventionally‐produced foods or to purchase GM foods if they were safe (47.8 per cent). Food labels were important for warnings (31.4 per cent), information (30.4 per cent) and advertising (15.3 per cent). Some major perceived risks of GM foods were the toxic effects on health (41.6 per cent) and allergenic effects (28.3 per cent). Some benefits of GM were for increased productivity of crops and food availability (43.8 per cent), improved health and in disease control (27.9 per cent), economics (21 per cent), pest resistance (18.8 per cent) and improved nutrition (16 per cent). Most respondents (41.1 per cent) felt that the Government was responsible for giving information on GM foods. The public was indifferent (p>0.05) as to whether GM foods should be grown in Trinidad and Tobago. The level of education and gender were not (p>0.05) influential factors on responses.

Originality/value

Although the sample size was small, the findings could be used to target effective public education and bio‐safety policies.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 108 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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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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1301

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2003

Joanne Scully

In recent years, concern about the negative environmental effects of technologies, and in particular the use of genetic engineering in food production, has become a major…

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2385

Abstract

In recent years, concern about the negative environmental effects of technologies, and in particular the use of genetic engineering in food production, has become a major topic in public debate. Public acceptance of genetic engineering is vital to development of this technology. This study, carried out in Christchurch, New Zealand, explores the role of consumers opinions, attitudes and behaviours toward genetic engineering. It focuses on the relative perceived risk associated with consuming genetically engineering food and the role of food labelling in reducing this risk. The study found that most consumers are uninformed about genetic engineering and the potential benefits it holds. The level of accurate knowledge held by the consumer was found to be an important determinant in the perceived level of risk and willingness to accept genetic engineering. Notable relationships were also found between demographic variables, attitudes and behaviours towards genetically engineered produce.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 105 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2000

Linda Hadfield

The controversy over genetically modified organisms in the UK came to a head with the publication of three official reports in May 1999. A review of the three reports…

Abstract

The controversy over genetically modified organisms in the UK came to a head with the publication of three official reports in May 1999. A review of the three reports leads to the suggestion that the controversy is exacerbated in part by the conflation of three sets of issues: the underlying uncertainty of the physical processes involved, the nature of scientific investigation and the social context surrounding scientific research. This has implications for the nature of scientific research, and the relationship between research and policy.

Details

Foresight, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Ronald B. Larson

The purpose of this paper is to examine consumer attitudes toward genetically modified (GM) and organic foods with a broader list of control variables that includes green…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine consumer attitudes toward genetically modified (GM) and organic foods with a broader list of control variables that includes green attitudes, impulsive purchasing, concerns about privacy, religiosity, birth order, and political preferences.

Design/methodology/approach

US internet panelists were asked about their preferences for purchasing non-GM produce, non-GM cereal, and organic products even if they cost a little more. They were also asked if genetically engineered foods are safe to consume. Responses to these four questions were dependent variables in binary logistic regressions. The sample size was 725 adults.

Findings

Attitudes toward non-GM produce and non-GM cereal were linked with different variables. Green attitudes were positively linked with non-GM and organic food attitudes. Impulsive purchases, a religiosity factor, and a privacy concern factor were linked with non-GM but not organic food attitudes. Social desirability bias was also significant. The genetically engineered food model identified some unique linkages with the control variables, suggesting that these terms may not improve consumer confidence with food.

Originality/value

New measures and several variables that researchers independently found to be significant were tested together in models and found to be linked with organic and non-GM food attitudes. Some expected relationships were not found. The results provide better profiles of consumers who have strong attitudes toward GM and organic foods.

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