Consumer attitudes toward novel agrifood technologies: a critical review on genetic modification and synthetic biology

Shan Jin*, Wenjing Li, Francis Naab, David Coles , Lynn J. Frewer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Consumer acceptance is an important driver of success in the process of commercialising novel agrifood technologies and their applications. It needs to be measured and considered throughout the whole process of technological innovations. Here, genetically modified (GM) food and synthetic biology (SB) are considered as two cases which can be employed as lenses to assess consumers’ responses to novel agrifood technologies. Risk and benefit perceptions were considered to be important determinants of acceptance. Application attributes, affect heuristic, ethical concerns, individual characteristics and social contexts were also discussed. However, some inconsistent findings in relation to factors impacting on consumers’ attitudes were mainly about the role of information provision, prior knowledge, and social trust. The EU and US regulations of GM and SB applied to food production were also compared. Based on the above findings, an explanatory framework for understanding consumer attitudes towards novel agrifood technologies in general, and specific GM- and SB-based applications in particular, was proposed. Limitations in existing research and implications for future studies were presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPresent Knowledge in Food Safety
Subtitle of host publicationA Risk-Based Approach Through the Food Chain
EditorsMichael Knowles, Lucia Anelich, Alan Boobis, Bert Popping
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780128231548
ISBN (Print)9780128194706
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2022


  • genetically modified food
  • synthetic biology
  • consumer acceptance
  • risk and benefit perception


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