Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 1201–1227 | Cite as

Knowledge, Attitudes and Behavioral Intentions of Agricultural Professionals Toward Genetically Modified (GM) Foods: A Case Study in Southwest Iran

  • Sedigheh Ghasemi
  • Ezatollah Karami
  • Hossein Azadi
Original Paper

Abstract

While there has been a number of consumers’ studies looking at factors that influence individuals’ attitudes and behavior toward GM foods, few studies have considered agricultural professionals’ intentions in this regard. This study illuminates agricultural professionals’ insights toward GM foods in Southwest Iran. A random sample of 262 respondents was studied. The results indicated that the majority of the respondents had little knowledge about GM foods. They perceived few benefits or risks of GM foods. Their perceived benefits and trust in individuals and institutions had positive impacts on the behavioral intentions of the agricultural professionals. The results also revealed that the low knowledge level of the respondents had a negative impact on the behavioral intentions toward GM foods. This state of affairs is problematic, either GM foods have serious problems or the knowledge conveyed to the Iranian agricultural experts is inappropriate. We recommend a well defined communication strategy to provide information in such a way that allows individuals to feel adequately informed about GM foods. Furthermore, the development of trust and knowledge regarding GM foods can be greater when risk analysis frameworks are transparent, risk assessment methodologies are objective, all stakeholders are engaged in the risk management process, and risk communication focuses on consumers.

Keywords

GM foods Knowledge Attitude Agricultural professionals Gatekeepers 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sedigheh Ghasemi
    • 1
  • Ezatollah Karami
    • 1
  • Hossein Azadi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, College of AgricultureShiraz UniversityShirazIran
  2. 2.Department of GeographyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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