Social trust and risk knowledge, perception and behaviours resulting from a rice tampering scandal
by Lulu Rodriguez; Jing Li; Sela Sar
International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health (IJFSNPH), Vol. 5, No. 1, 2014

Abstract: When the renowned Wuchang rice was mixed with rice of low quality and scented with fake aroma, the Chinese people were subjected to yet another case of food safety breach. This study examines the role of trust in shaping public knowledge about, risk perception of, and protective behaviours resulting from this product tampering incident in Xi'an, China. The results of a survey of a snowball sample of residents in the city's urban centres indicate that although most respondents were aware about the product tampering, they knew little about its details and the nature or severity of the threat. They saw the incident as subjecting them to involuntary risk. Trust in media influenced perceptions that experts were familiar with the health threats. Trust in government positively correlated with perceived novelty of the risks, had a bearing on perceptions that experts were aware of the risks, and that these risks can be controlled. Trust in media, in government, and in interpersonal information sources had no impact on risk knowledge and behaviour.

Online publication date: Wed, 30-Jul-2014

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