Slightly shortened - if you want the paragraph about posh and becks, see the url
Public wary of 'safe' technology
BY NIGEL HAWKES, HEALTH EDITOR
MONDAY MARCH 19 2001
THE public no longer believes reassurances from government, the media or industry about the safety of new technologies, a survey has shown.
Almost half those questioned (46 per cent) said that they thought government had something to hide when it offered reassurances about the safety of vaccines, mobile phones or genetically modified food.
Only 40 per cent trusted information from the mobile phone industry about product safety, and only 36 per cent believed what the food industry told them about GM foods. Scientists have also suffered from a loss of respect. Just under half (49 per cent) of those asked now trust information they provide. The press came out worst, however. Only 22 per cent of those questioned trusted what they heard or read. Friends and family were the most trusted source of information, believed by 67 per cent.
The survey, carried out for Unilever UK, Green Alliance and the Royal Society of Arts by Taylor Nelson Sofres, will be discussed today at a seminar at the RSA. The pollsters questioned 1,002 people between March 2 and 4.
The seminar will debate Wising Up, produced by the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change at Lancaster University. The report argues that the system of providing advice and reassurance “top-down” no longer works.
Reassurances that there is “no evidence of a risk” fail because the public knows there is uncertainty in most aspects of life, and that regulation of risk is never perfect.
...MORI interviewed 1,918 people aged 15 to 55 in England, Scotland and Wales.