Labelling genetically modified food products: Consumers' concern in the United Kingdom


An online survey method was used to collect data regarding the concern and attitude of UK consumers towards genetically modified (GM) food labelling. Questionnaires were sent to 9000 participants of the online panel via emails, and 2568 consumers completed the online survey. The response rate was 29%. This study found that more than 75% of the consumers questioned were concerned about the labelling of food products with GM ingredients. Eight perceived risks and benefits of agro-biotechnology were identified to be associated with consumers’ attitude towards GM food labelling. Among them, three were perceived benefits, such as reduced use of chemicals in crop production, improved nutritional content, and increased yields. The five perceived risks were health risks, environmental risks, moral considerations, image of multinational corporations as the primary beneficiaries of biotechnology, and growing control of multinational corporations over farming. While all five perceived risks from GM food played a statistically significant role in shaping the overall attitude towards GM labelling, improved nutritional content due to application of biotechnology was the only benefit that was statistically significant. Age of the respondents was the only demographic variable playing a statistically significant role in shaping the attitude of respondents towards GM food labelling. Older respondents were more likely to be concerned about the existing GM labelling practices than younger respondents.


Agribusiness, Education, and Communication

Document Type





Benefits, GM Foods, Labels, Risks

Publication Date


Journal Title

International Journal of Consumer Studies