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Abstract

Consumers, particularly in industrialised countries, are concerned about the application of genetic engineering in food production. There are considerations in many nations worldwide to introduce legal regulations to label food as free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in order to enable producers to better promote such products. However, requirements for labelling food products as ‘GMO-free’ can be very different, and therefore it is questionable whether consumers’ understanding of ‘GMO-free’ is consistent with what certain labels actually can guarantee. We conducted a consumer survey in order to explore potential gaps between expectations of ‘GMO-free’ food and production requirements in the case of the revised German regulation covering the labelling of foods as ‘GMO-free’. Our results indicate significant differences between consumers’ view and standards of production.

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