24.5.2021

Publication: The regulatory policies affect consumer risk perception and self-risk responsibility

en man som bär en låda med färska grönsaker

Results of a set of field experiments examining the effects of regulations related to the production of GM foods on consumers’ risk perception and self-risk responsibility is now accepted to be published in the Journal of PLOS ONE.

The results showed policy designs regarding genetically modified (GM) foods affect perceived risk responsibility among health-conscious consumers. The study showed how policies governing production of GM foods affect consumers’ cognitive information processing in terms of perceived risk, self-control, and risk responsibility. Consumers showed more tendency to perceive higher levels of risk and lower level of control over risks in policy scenarios where GM food is available on the market compared with policies where GM food is banned. Researchers also analysed whether the effect of policy design is moderated by types of risks (i.e., health relates risks, environmental risks, socio-economic risks, and ethical concerns). The results showed that consumers perceived higher health related risks in comparison with other risk types. The findings also indicated that health-conscious consumers tend to attribute less responsibility to self in situations where a genetically modified product was commercialized. These findings indicate a need to clarify guideline recommendations for health-related risks associated with foods derived from biotechnology.

The forthcoming paper is titled “Genetically modified food and consumer risk responsibility: The effect of regulatory design and risk type on cognitive information processing”. The publication is a collaboration between researchers from Novia University of Applied Sciences in Finland and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Sweden.

This project is funded by Mistra Biotech.

Upcoming paper: Pakseresht, Ashkan (Novia UAS); Edenbrandt, Anna Kristina, Lagerkvist, Genetically modified food and consumer risk responsibility: The effect of regulatory design and risk type on cognitive information processing. PLOS ONE. Accepted May 2021.

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