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Quality Products and Genetically Modified Organisms in Italy: Hazards and Possibile Enhancements

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The European Union (EU) safeguards the quality of the origin and the production processes of food farming products. Italy has the most number of recognized denomination products: 244, over a total of 1,098. Inspite of the high number, this section is dominated by products of animal origin, which make up 90% of its economic value. To feed the animals, in Italy, like elsewhere, it is normal to use feeds containing genetically modified (GM) products. The larger part of Italian consumers are against the use of such products, and when choosing what to buy, they pay special attention to information about GM in the feed given to the animals. The European regulations on the subject don't require that the use of GM products in the feed be specified on the label, and this increases even more consumers' uncertainty on the actual features of products of animal origin. Such uncertainty could grow even further, since results from recent studies seems to show that components which are typical of transgenic plants travel to organic tissues, and therefore to products obtained by animals given GM feed. Given this situation, there is the tangible risk that consumers reduce their appreciation of products of animal origin, thus jeopardizing the economic value of the entire quality product section. However, if this situation is a risk, it also presents an opportunity. The possibility to obtain quality animal husbandry products, with certified non use of GM feed, would be a response to an existing demand of high economic value, allowing not only to enhance the best known and best quality production of animal origin, but also to safeguard the credibility of the entire Italian food farming system, strengthening its image, traditionally linked to the territory and the quality of its raw materials.
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Keywords: CONSUMERS; GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS; PRODUCT QUALITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2013

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  • Journal of Nutritional Ecology and Food Research is an international journal which publishes peer-reviewed articles on food production and consumption, with regard to health, environment, society and economy. The scope is thus broad, articles being focused on significant novel research in human and animal nutrition, food science and technology, food marketing and transportation. In addition, articles on food and identity, agriculture and sustainability, are also welcome. The journal only publishes novel, high quality review papers, original research papers, short communications, concerning all aspects of food and nutrition. It is journal policy to publish special issues on topical and emergent subjects of nutrition and food research or related areas.
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