Consumer attitudes towards nanotechnologies applied to food production

Abstract

The literature on public perceptions of, and attitudes towards, nanotechnology used in the agrifood sector is reviewed. Research into consumer perceptions and attitudes has focused on general applications of nanotechnology, rather than within the agrifood sector. Perceptions of risk and benefit associated with different applications of nanotechnology, including agrifood applications, shape consumer attitudes, and acceptance, together with ethical concerns related to environmental impact or animal welfare. Attitudes are currently moderately positive across all areas of application. The occurrence of a negative or positive incident in the agri-food sector may crystallise consumer views regarding acceptance or rejection of nanotechnology products. •Acceptance of agrifood nanotechnology based on perceptions of risk, benefit and ethics.•Attitudes towards nanotechnology in general are currently moderately positive.•Occurrence of a major nanotechnology-related "event" may crystallise consumer attitude.

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