Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment




Vol 7, Issue 3&4,2009
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255


Attitudes of consumers toward the effects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs): The example of Turkey


Author(s):

Ozdemir Oguz

Recieved Date: 2009-06-11, Accepted Date: 2009-10-10

Abstract:

This study was conducted as a part of the project entitled “Knowledge about and Disposition toward Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) of Consumers in Turkey” prepared for the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK). The study explored the attitudes of consumers in Turkey regarding the effects of GMOs on human and environmental health effects, their socio-economic impact and their control. The research was performed according to a stratified sampling model on the basis of a sampling that could be representative of the whole of Turkey (minimum of n 2431). Within this framework, face-to-face interviews were held with subjects of different genders, ages, education and income levels, guided by an interview form that was developed by the researcher. The research data was collected by means of the interview form’s subscale, “Attitudes Toward the Effects of GMOs.” The sub-scale is a 5-point Likert-type scale made up of 14 items rating the participants’ attitudes toward the effects of GMOs on “human and environmental health” (6 items) socio-economic structure” (4 items) and on “control” (4 items). The data was analyzed on an SPSS 15.00 statistics program using the Mann-Whitney U, Kruskal-Wallis and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient tests. At the end of the research, it was established that the participants displayed a pessimistic attitude which reflected a belief that the widespread use of GMOs presented a risk to human and environmental health and was also a hazard in socio-economic terms. At the same time, participants believed that such risks could be controlled to a certain degree within a biosafety system. From a different perspective, it was found that the demographic characteristics of the subjects in the study (gender, age, education and income levels) in general did not have a significant effect on attitudes toward the impact of GMOs but that participants who were university graduates had a more optimistic outlook on the effects of GMOs on human and environmental health and related controls. It was finally concluded that study participants who regarded GMOs as risks to human and environmental health also found them to be socio-economic hazards as well, however, believing that these effects could be partially contained through government control.

Keywords:

GMO, GM foods, consumers’ perception, consumers’ attitude


Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2009
Volume: 7
Issue: 3&4
Category: Food and Health
Pages: 159-165


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