Genetically Modified Food and Public Perceptions
Genetic modification of plants and animals has the potential to increase food production and contribute significantly to the global issue of food security. Food produced using genetic modification technologies (generally referred to as “genetically modified food”) can offer financial, environmental, health, and quality benefits to society. However, these foods are also the subject of public controversy, and the realization of their potential benefits now depends on the level of trust and acceptance of consumers. Public acceptance is critical to the success of the products of any new technology, including genetically modified food. The public perception of genetically modified food is generally one of mistrust and ambiguity. Public perceptions matter because they influence the course of scientific endeavour, technological innovation, government policy, and regulatory frameworks. This article identifies and analyses free, publicly available (online) discourses on genetically modified food to identify and better understand how public perceptions are constructed outside expert scientific sources.