Are Feelings of Genetically Modified Food Politically Driven?
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- Costa-Font, J., Mossialos, E. & Rudisill, C. Risk Manag (2008) 10: 218. doi:10.1057/rm.2008.5
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Political affiliation can play a key role in shaping interest towards and emotions about new technologies such as genetically modified (GM) food. This paper examines the extent to which emotional feelings towards and interest in the issue of GM food in the United Kingdom are politically determined. We use the United Kingdom-representative UEA-MORI Risk Survey from 2002 containing information on people's feelings and interests towards GM food to undertake multivariate analysis investigating whether these feelings and interests were formed independently of political attitudes. Results confirm that political affiliation affected both feelings towards GM food and interest in the issue of GM food. Educational attainment is found to influence the extent of individuals’ interest in GM food while younger generations seem to be less interested and more likely to not have bad feelings about GM food. Overall, results stress the influential role of politically-based information, in individuals’ information updating and emotional responses to new technologies.