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Beliefs About Genetically Modified Foods: A Qualitative and Quantitative Exploration

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Abstract:

This study is aimed to examine consumers' beliefs about genetically modified foods. Ten focus group interviews of community members and a random questionnaire-based mail survey of 500 Australian (Victorian) adults were conducted (58% response). Participants were generally negative about genetically modified foods, with concerns being raised about them being unnatural, difficult to identify, and having unknown long-term health and environmental effects. Many participants were unaware of or disagreed with the benefits of genetically modified foods that are promoted by its advocates and there were some misconceptions present. These findings provide information for both advocates and opponents of genetically modified foods and a basis for future larger-scale research.

Keywords: Australia; Beliefs; Focus group; Genetically modified foods; Survey

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03670240500348789

Affiliations: Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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