Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 489–497 | Cite as

Genetically Modified Food: Knowledge and Attitude of Teachers and Students

  • Animesh K. MohapatraEmail author
  • Deepika Priyadarshini
  • Antara Biswas


The concepts behind the technology of genetic modification of organisms and its applications are complex. A diverse range of opinions, public concern and considerable media interest accompanies the subject. This study explores the knowledge and attitudes of science teachers and senior secondary biology students about the application of a rapidly expanding technology, genetic engineering, to food production. The results indicated significant difference in understanding of concepts related with genetically engineered food stuffs between teachers and students. The most common ideas about genetically modified food were that cross bred plants and genetically modified plants are not same, GM organisms are produced by inserting a foreign gene into a plant or animal and are high yielding. More teachers thought that genetically engineered food stuffs were unsafe for the environment. Both teachers and students showed number of misconceptions, for example, the pesticidal proteins produced by GM organisms have indirect effects through bioaccumulation, induces production of allergic proteins, genetic engineering is production of new genes, GM plants are leaky sieves and that transgenes are more likely to introgress into wild species than mutated species. In general, more students saw benefits while teachers were cautious about the advantages of genetically engineered food stuffs.


Genetic engineering Herbicide resistant Biodiversity Invasive species Transgenes Bioaccumulation and allergic proteins 



The authors wish to thank Prof. V. G. Jadhao, Principal and Prof. K.B. Rath, Dean of Instruction, Regional Institute of Education (NCERT) for their valuable comments and encouragement. We also thank Principals of various schools for their kind cooperation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Animesh K. Mohapatra
    • 1
    Email author
  • Deepika Priyadarshini
    • 1
  • Antara Biswas
    • 1
  1. 1.Regional Institute of Education (NCERT)BhubaneswarIndia

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