A new study at Iowa State University shows consumers often don’t listen to scientists when it comes to food safety.The study was designed to see how everyday shoppers reacted to things they’ve heard about new food technology such as irradiation. I-S-U economist Dermot Hayes says the results show consumers turn away from a product after hearing negative information, regardless of the source of that info. He says researchers were surprised to learn that consumers believed negative information about a product over positive info in a scientific study.He says consumers pressed for time seemed to remember a negative comment about a product and avoid buying it. Hayes says activist groups seeking publicity are having some success in swaying the public. Hayes says it’s scary to think that scientific studies can be overshadowed by groups that’re prepared to “go out on a verbal limb.” He says the groups have to recognize their responsibility to the public.He says it also shows the need for consumers to research the claims being made about products.He believes consumers should give more weight to scientific reports on an issue, rather than believing the claims of activist groups. The study involved a random sample of 87 shoppers.
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