6,172 research outputs found

    Identifying farmer attitudes towards genetically modified (GM) crops in Scotland

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    Consumer attitudes towards genetically modified (GM) food are well documented but there has been much less focus on farmer attitudes to GM technology in agriculture. This paper reports findings from a study investigating farmers’ attitudes to GM crops in Scotland. Results from a Q methodology study reveal three discourses, one apparently pro-GM and demonstrating an expectation of benefits, the second representing a more uncertain position, wary of the potential risks of the technology but likely to be reluctant adopters, and the third describing a group who demonstrate a somewhat fatalistic attitude towards the issue of GM technology adoption and impact. The paper also reports findings from a postal survey conducted as part of the Q methodology study. Results from a scenario question suggest that the majority of Scottish farmers are unsure at this stage whether they would choose to adopt GM technology or not, opting instead for a ‘wait and see’ position. The intention (or not) to adopt, appears to be related to a number of variables such as type of crops grown, whether or not the farmer expects to pass on the farm to the next generation of the family, and whether the farmer thinks GM crops will be good or bad for Scottish agriculture. These findings contribute to the overall GM debate by providing some insight into the differing positions held by farmers in Scotland and thereby offering an indication of the likelihood of GM crops being introduced into the Scottish landscape.Genetically modified crops, farmers, Q methodology, attitudes, Scotland, technology adoption, Farm Management,

    CONSUMER CLUSTERS AND FOOD SAFETY INFORMATION NEEDS

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    The work presented here was conducted as part of an EU-funded five year project investigating pathogens in the food chain, called "Control and prevention of emerging and future pathogens at cellular and molecular level throughout the food chain". Using a questionnaire, research was carried out with consumers in four countries to investigate food safety information needs and information source preferences. The work combined cluster analysis with a social marketing approach. Cluster analysis revealed that the majority of respondents can be allocated to one of eight clusters based on their information needs relating to food safety behaviour and pathogen knowledge. The respondents associated with each of the clusters can be described in terms of characteristics such as whether they have had any formal food safety education, the frequency with which they discuss food safety issues, their preferences for types of food safety messages, and a range of socio-demographic characteristics. The results provide potentially useful information for bodies designing food safety information dissemination strategies, and provide an approach for providing targeted dissemination programs that are directly connected to information needs.Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,

    Investigating consumer knowledge and behaviour in the context of functional foods

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    The future of functional foods will depend on the extent to which they are accepted by consumers. Results are presented from a questionnaire that investigated consumers’ self-reported knowledge, behavioural intentions and purchasing behaviour regarding functional foods. Findings are that two thirds of UK respondents, just less than half of Danish respondents, almost two thirds of Spanish respondents, and 88% of Polish respondents say they buy one or two functional food items per week. Between 30-55% of respondents say they understand functional foods reasonably well (UK 55%; Denmark 30%; Spain 43%; Poland 49%). A number of factors were related to respondents’ stated intention to purchase probiotics. If someone in the household had suffered food poisoning in the previous 12 months or had children living at home, respondents were more likely to consider buying functional foods to help reduce the risk of food poisoning. Respondents who have never had any formal food safety training were more likely to consider buying functional foods. Further, knowledge of the correct food sources for a number of foodborne pathogens also affected the likelihood of respondents considering buying probiotic functional foods. The findings provide up-to-date information about consumers and the developing functional foods market.Consumers, knowledge, behaviour, functional foods, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,

    Public Attitudes to the Welfare of Broiler Chickens

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    This paper reports results from two workshops held in York, England that investigated public attitudes towards the welfare of broiler chickens. At the outset the majority of participants admitted that they knew little about how broiler chickens are reared and were shocked at some of the facts presented to them. Cognitive mapping and aspects of Q methodology were used to reveal the range of variables that participants believed affected chicken welfare, the causal relationships between those variables, and what variables were considered most and least important. While some participants focused on the importance of meeting basic needs such as access to food, water, light and ventilation, others highlighted the role of welfare regulations and public opinion. Factor analysis of the results from a ranking exercise identified two factor groups, “Factor one - The bigger picture” and “Factor two – Basic animal rights”. The findings demonstrate that some members of the public are both interested in learning about how their food is produced and concerned about the conditions faced by broiler chickens. Some are able to see clear links between public opinion and the welfare of farm animals, an important connection if consumer behaviour is to contribute towards improving animal welfare.Animal welfare, broiler chickens, cognitive mapping, public attitudes, Q methodology., Livestock Production/Industries, Consumer/Household Economics,

    INVESTIGATING USER PREFERENCES FOR SERVICES IN RURAL AREAS OF SCOTLAND: A TERRITORIAL APPROACH

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    Territorialisation of rural policies requires moving from a sectoral approach to service provision, and policies that focus exclusively on health and education, for example, to an understanding of overall service provision and quality, differentiated by rural area definition, not primarily by sector. An investigation of the expectations of stakeholders in rural Scotland, relating to availability, quality and accessibility of services, revealed that preferences were often different within different areas. The results input to the debate about the need to territorialise rural policy, and provide information for allocation decisions relating to resources aimed at creating sustainable rural communities in Scotland.Services, participatory methods, Scotland, user preferences, territorial rural policies, Community/Rural/Urban Development,

    The non-market benefits of rural service provision

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    The provision of services in rural areas is constrained by a number of issues arising from the remoteness of such areas and the relative sparsity of rural populations. These factors combine to increase the cost of supply and reduce the demand for services, which consequently threatens the viability of service provision whether by the public or private sectors. A possible to solution to these issues lies in the co-location of rural services, which in general means that two or more distinct services are located within the same premises thus reducing the delivery costs associated with one or more of these services. Beyond the simple economics of service provision lies the existence of nonmarket elements of services in terms of benefits to local communities of service provision that might arise from the social elements of local provided services such as community cohesion. This paper applies non-market valuation to quantify these benefits in three case studies across Scotland. The results indicate that relative degree of these benefits can be related to the remoteness of rural communities in that more remote communities particularly value the community aspects of services whereas less remote communities are more resistant to increased distances to access services. More generally, the results provide evidence on the inherent trade-offs between factors such as opening hours, levels of service and distance that can be used in determining the optimal configuration of service provision.Community/Rural/Urban Development,

    Cryonic Suspension and the Law

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    Three central problems which adversely affect the intriguing use, development, and perfection of the cryonic suspension of individuals are analyzed: the extent to which a physician may be guilty of malpractice in assisting with a suspension - owing to present weaknesses in defining death and coordinate criminal liability attaching theretofor murder; the need for a recognition of suspension; and the present effect of the law\u27s anachronistic treatment of estate devolution upon a cryon - or one undergoing suspension. To meet these difficulties, a partnership is proposed between law and medicine which would respond to challenges to this type of new biology in measured anticipation of the future consequences, rather than with a passive spirit of resignation to things to come

    Cryonic Suspension and the Law

    Get PDF
    Three central problems which adversely affect the intriguing use, development, and perfection of the cryonic suspension of individuals are analyzed: the extent to which a physician may be guilty of malpractice in assisting with a suspension - owing to present weaknesses in defining death and coordinate criminal liability attaching theretofor murder; the need for a recognition of suspension; and the present effect of the law\u27s anachronistic treatment of estate devolution upon a cryon - or one undergoing suspension. To meet these difficulties, a partnership is proposed between law and medicine which would respond to challenges to this type of new biology in measured anticipation of the future consequences, rather than with a passive spirit of resignation to things to come
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