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A Mass Poisoning Rumor in Europe

J. N. Kapferer
The Public Opinion Quarterly
Vol. 53, No. 4 (Winter, 1989), pp. 467-481
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2749354
Page Count: 15
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A Mass Poisoning Rumor in Europe
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Abstract

For more than ten years, a rumor has been spreading in Europe. Transmitted from hand to hand on a leaflet, this rumor accuses ten well-known brands of food products of being toxic and producing cancer. Because of its persistence, extensiveness, and tangible nature, the rumor lends itself to empirical research. This article presents the most significant results of a number of studies assessing the rumor's penetration, its modes of diffusion, and its behavioral effects.

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