Publication of this article in an open access journal was funded by the Portland State University Library’s Open Access Fund.
Adults -- Bioengineering, Biotechnology -- consumer perception, Consumers -- Demographics -- Federal legislation, Food -- food labels, Food organisms, Food packaging, Genetic modification, Genetically engineered organisms, Genetically modified organisms, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Government agencies
Genetically modified (GM) foods have been commercially available in the US for more than two decades, yet Americans know very little about them. With the implementation of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard of 2016, food manufacturers will be required to disclose the presence of GM ingredients in their food products. How food manufacturers communicate with consumers about GM ingredients may have consequences for public understanding of GM technology. In Study 1, we explore how food manufacturers characterize GM ingredients within their food products on SmartLabel, a digital disclosure website established by the Grocery Manufacturers Association. In Study 2, we test the effect of those characterizations on perceived risks and benefits of GM food. Overall, we find that varying characterizations of GM ingredients do not significantly affect perceived risks and benefits. Post hoc analyses suggest that knowledge of GM technology and moral evaluation of GM technology significantly predict perceived risks and benefits. Implications for the public communication of GM technology are discussed.
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Suldovsky, B., & Hallman, W. K. (2022). The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard of 2016: Intersection of Technology and Public Understanding of Science in the United States. Societies, 12(5), 133.