Four questions on European consumers' attitudes to the use of genetic modification (GM) in food production are posed and answered: (1) how negative are consumer attitudes to GM applications in food production? (2) How do these attitudes affect perception of and preference for products involving GM applications? (3) How deeply rooted are these attitudes? (4) Will the attitudes change due to more information andyor product experience? Drawing on two major studies researching these questions, it is concluded that consumer attitudes towards GM in food production are negative, that these negative attitudes guide the perception of food products involving the use of GM and lead to a range of sweeping negative associations which overshadow potential benefits perceived, that these negative attitudes are embedded in a system of more general attitudes, especially attitude to nature, to technology, and alienation from the marketplace, implying that they are deeply rooted, and that they will not easily be changed by information. They may change, however, due to own experience with products produced using GM and involving clear consumer benefits.
Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies, 2003, Vol -, Issue 4, p. 435-445