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Acceptability of genetically modified cheese presented as real product alternative

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Kjetil Aune

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kjetil.aune@nofima.no

Food Quality and Preference ; Volume 13. p. 523–533. 2002

Lahteenmaki, Liisa; Grunert, Klaus; Ueland, Øydis; Åström, Annika; Arvola, Anne; Bech-Larsen, Tino

European consumers, in general, have negative attitudes towards the use of gene technology in food production. The objective of this study was to examine whether taste and health benefits influence the acceptability of genetically modified (gm) products when they are presented as real product alternatives. Consumers in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden (n = 738) assessed two cheeses: one was labelled as genetically modified (preferred in an earlier product test) and the other as conventional (neutral;in an earlier product test). A smaller control group received two cheeses with blind codes. Labelling decreased consumers’ intentions to buy the originally preferred gm-labelled cheese, but still the intentions were at the same level with the conventionally labelled option. Participants chose two gin cheeses out of five possible when given the option to take cheese home after tasting. Intentions to buy gin cheese could best be explained by respondents’ attitudes towards gene technology and perceived taste benefits. General health interest was also a reinforcer of intentions for gin cheese with reduced fat content. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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