Media attention to genetically modified (GM) foods has been described as negative, especially in Europe. At the turn of the century appreciation of GM foods was at an all-time low in Europe. Food manufacturers are still careful in the use, development and communication of GM based food products, and their caution influences innovation processes. In this study we explore the link between media attention and innovation practice. Media attention to three specific high-profile GM food cases is described and linked to innovation practice. We elucidate the order of events in these cases and show that publics could only to a limited extent have formed an opinion on GM based food products based on scientifically valid data through written English media. Innovators in food biotechnology may benefit from this knowledge for future product development and marketing, and we suggest that innovation may benefit from early stakeholder involvement and communication activities.
- GM foods
- media and science
- public understanding of science
- social responsibility of scientists