Public needs to be 'educated' into accepting GM

A study on a variety of GM maize found it may have negative effects on stream life
A study on a variety of GM maize found it may have negative effects on stream life

Opposition groups can slowdown or halt the development and implementation of food technologies like GM crops, says the study

Companies should counter organic groups' criticisms of food technologies to convince consumers to accept biotechnology and irradiation, says US study

Negative consumer attitudes to GM technology and irradiation could be improved by education, say academics.

Researchers from the University of Maine, USA, found a strong correlation between knowledge and acceptance of new technologies.

In their findings, published in the Food Quality and Preference journal, they said most people are prejudiced by learning about biotechnology and irradiation through organic groups.

'Increased knowledge of one technology leads to more negative attitudes of other technologies. This effect may be due to negative information being provided by opponents of specific technologies,' said the study.

'Very few people knew about biotechnology or irradiation if they did not also know about organic methods, whereas many people knew about organic production who did not know about one or both of the other technologies.'

'Food irradiation, in particular, becomes more acceptable as consumers become more informed, principally because their concerns about its effects on the environment and nutrition are eased,' it states.

Useful links

Study: Information effects on consumer attitudes toward three food technologies: Organic production, biotechnology, and irradiation

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