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Understanding the scope of farmer perceptions of risk: considering farmer opinions on the use of genetically modified (GM) crops as a stakeholder voice in policy

By N. P. Guehlstorf

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Abstract

This study explores the relationship of farmer attitudes and GM agriculture. A survey was conducted on 200 farmer adopters and non-adopters of GM crops within the counties of Madison, Macoupin, Jersey and Feyette in Illinois, USA on the perception of risk in relation to GM food production and current agricultural policies within the USA. Although national research indicates that larger yields are the most common reason for GM adoption, qualitative information suggest that the potential of GM crops to increase revenue per acre does not truly reflect all the concerns of modern farmers. For example, farmers who use GM seeds indicate that they constantly question the social impacts of their agricultural practices. As such, GM policies should be restructured as a political rationalization of both economic modelling and political theory because this research suggests that farmers' business decisions are utility calculations that consider economics without ignoring environmental and political contexts. Farmers' concerns about non-economic risks suggest that they need more information about GM crops and that governmental policies should respond to their interests, as they are more democratic or pluralistic than industry or consumer arguments.

Date 2008
Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 21
Issue 6
Pages 541-558
ISBN/ISSN 1187-7863
DOI 10.1007/s10806-008-9116-7
Language English
Author Address Political Science Department and Environmental Sciences Program, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1453, USA. nguehls@siue.edu
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Tags
  1. Adoption
  2. Agriculture
  3. Biosafety
  4. Biotechnology
  5. Corn
  6. Developed countries
  7. Economics
  8. Environment
  9. Farms
  10. Genetically engineered plants
  11. Genetically modified organisms
  12. Genetically modified plants
  13. Genetic engineering
  14. Government
  15. Illinois
  16. Innovations
  17. North America
  18. OECD countries
  19. peer-reviewed
  20. perceptions
  21. Plants
  22. Policy and Planning
  23. Public opinion
  24. Risk Assessment
  25. risk factors
  26. social impact
  27. Social psychology and social anthropology
  28. transgenics
  29. United States of America
  30. uses
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed