Volunteer participants visited a field trial of genetically modified (GM) potatoes in Sweden as part of a study that aimed to determine if farm visits could change consumers' attitudes toward GM crops. The study yielded positive results. The field trial site, located in Borgeby, Sweden, was planted with GM potatoes stacked with three resistance genes against late blight. After advertising a visit to the potato field trial in social media channels, 28 Swedish volunteer citizens signed up for a visit. No information about gene technology was provided to the participants prior to the trip, and they were told that they would meet researchers and learn more about how potatoes could get more environmentally friendly and tastier. Each was given two survey questionnaires that contained the same questions, one as a baseline questionnaire and the other as a post-intervention questionnaire.
Results showed that 65% of participants perceived GM crops as risky before the field intervention. But the post-intervention assessment showed a positive change in their attitudes. More specifically, the study found that personal experience and access to reliable sources of scientific information combined with active discussions may change the consumer's attitude to become favorable and reduce the associated stigma. It also exhibited the potential value of an intervention that can be scaled up and used for other types of products and possible shifts of perceptions associated with field experiences that might be as realistic as possible with GM products under current European laws.
Source: https://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/newsletter/default.asp