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Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of food risk perceptions of German consumers over the eleven year period from 1992 to 2002. Using factor analysis, we analyse the respondents general risk attitudes and the specific perception of food safety risks. General risk attitude are described by variables relating to environmental, lifestyle and food risks. Food safety concerns are grouped into concern about use of biotechnology, about residues, about unhealthy eating habits, and about natural contaminants. An ordered probit analysis identifies the characteristics that explain the importance consumers attribute to these different food safety risks. The results reveal that general risk perceptions and knowledge about food safety hazards are highly significant in the explanation.

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