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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. Biotechnology
  4. Corn
  5. Developed countries
  6. Economics
  7. Environment
  8. Farms
  9. Genetically engineered plants
  10. Genetically modified organisms
  11. Genetic engineering
  12. Government
  13. Illinois
  14. Innovations
  15. North America
  16. OECD countries
  17. peer-reviewed
  18. perceptions
  19. Plants
  20. Policy and Planning
  21. Public opinion
  22. Risk Assessment
  23. risk factors
  24. safety
  25. social impact
  26. Social psychology and social anthropology
  27. transgenics
  28. United States of America
  29. uses
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed