Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 509–524 | Cite as

Attitudes of Agricultural Experts Toward Genetically Modified Crops: A Case Study in Southwest Iran

  • Mansour Ghanian
  • Omid M. Ghoochani
  • Miranda Kitterlin
  • Sheida Jahangiry
  • Kiumars Zarafshani
  • Steven Van Passel
  • Hossein Azadi
Original Paper

Abstract

The production of genetically modified (GM) crops is growing around the world, and with it possible opportunities to combat food insecurity and hunger, as well as solutions to current problems facing conventional agriculture. In this regard the use of GMOs in food and agricultural applications has increased greatly over the past decade. However, the development of GM crops has been a matter of considerable interest and worldwide public controversy. This, in addition to skepticism, has stifled the use of this practice on a large scale in many areas, including Iran. It stands to reason that a greater understanding of this practice could be formed after a review of the existing expert opinions surrounding GM crops. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the predictors that influence agricultural experts’ attitudes toward the development of and policies related to GM crops. Using a descriptive correlational research method, questionnaire data was collected from 65 experts from the Agricultural Organization in the Gotvand district in Southwest Iran. Results indicated that agricultural experts were aware of the environmental benefits and possible risks associated with GM crops. The majority of participants agreed that GM crops could improve food security and accelerate rural development, and were proponents of labeling practices for GM crops. Finally, there was a positive correlation between the perception of benefits and attitudes towards GM crops.

Keywords

Food security Genetically modified crops Agricultural development 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mansour Ghanian
    • 1
  • Omid M. Ghoochani
    • 1
  • Miranda Kitterlin
    • 2
  • Sheida Jahangiry
    • 1
  • Kiumars Zarafshani
    • 3
  • Steven Van Passel
    • 4
  • Hossein Azadi
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Extension and EducationKhuzestan Ramin Agriculture and Natural Resources UniversityAhvazIran
  2. 2.Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism ManagementFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural Extension and EducationRazi UniversityKermanshahIran
  4. 4.Centre for Environmental SciencesHasselt UniversityHasseltBelgium
  5. 5.Department of GeographyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  6. 6.Economics and Rural Development, Gembloux Agro-Bio TechUniversity of LiègeLiègeBelgium

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