The objective of the research presented in this article was to gain insight into consumers' cognitions with regard to genetically modified foods to get a better understanding of the constituents of consumer attitudes to genetic modification in food production overall. Means-end chain theory served as the theoretical basis for conducting laddering interviews with 400 consumers in Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy, using beer and yoghurt as tangible product examples. Perceived risks and benefits of genetic modification in foods were investigated, with an emphasis on tracing cross-national differences, differences relating to different outcome groups considered, and differences relating to the presence or non-presence of genetically modified material in the end product. German and Danish results were generally more elaborate and revealed more complex cognitive structures than the results from Italy and the United Kingdom. In all four countries, however, genetic modification was associated with unnaturalness and low trustworthiness of the resulting product, independently of whether the genetically modified material was traceable in the product. Moral considerations were voiced as well, as were a number of other undesirable consequences that were perceived to eventually prevent the fulfilment of both individual and social values.
|Bidragets oversatte titel||Consumers' cognitions with regard to genetically modified foods: Results of a qualitative study in four countries|
|Status||Udgivet - 1999|