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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…

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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

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