Pure meat - Public perceptions of risk reduction strategies in meat production
Experience has shown that both the assessment and implementation of new technologies in food production are challenged by negative assessments of the technologies by the public. This article seeks to deepen our understanding of the concerns that may underlie negative attitudes to various kinds of risk reduction strategy in meat production, with the aim of distinguishing between forms of risk reduction in terms of their acceptability. The paper reports the result of a focus-group study. Six focus groups with Danish citizens (N: 5-9) were conducted during May 2006. The design of the groups took a bottom-up approach and included elements of meat quality, meat safety and risk reduction strategies. The study shows the dilemma risk reduction presents to members of the public. On the one hand, people want safe meat; on the other, the study showed that with the exception of hygiene practices, people generally have an aversion to risk reduction strategies. Some variation was found, however, in the rejection of the strategies. Thus, more acceptable strategies are characterised by a low degree of technological interference, and by being close to the consumer's experience in everyday life and/or familiar to the participants' picture of meat production. It is also important that the strategy does not alter the quality of the end-product (meat) in an unfavourable way. The implications of the results and the inherent dilemma for meat safety policy formation are discussed.
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- Spencer Henson & James Northen, 2000. "Consumer Assessment of the Safety of Beef at the Point of Purchase: A Pan-European Study," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 90-105.
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