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Szkoła Główna Gospodarstwa Wiejskiego
Submission date: 2020-08-13
Final review date: 2020-08-17
Acceptance date: 2020-09-24
Publication date: 2020-09-29
Zagadnienia Ekonomiki Rolnej / Problems of Agricultural Economics 2020;364(3):144-161
The cultivation of genetically modified plants is controversial. In the Polish society, the opponents of GMOs are strongly lobbying against it, claiming that it is harmful, unnecessary and unethical. Experts in the field of biotechnology, however, state that there is no reason for concern and that genetic modifications provide undisputable benefits. The paper presents the opinions of 128 farmers from the Świętokrzyskie and Opolskie Provinces on GMO crops and food, which were compared with the assessments of experts in the field of biotechnology. On average, the research results showed a negative attitude of the respondents and a low level of knowledge about GMOs. Convinced of its harmfulness, the farmers expressed little interest in the cultivation of genetically modified crops, although being aware of the advantages of the modification (including resistance to pathogens, lower costs, better quality features). The farmers younger in age, better educated, and running larger farms showed greater openness to GMO cultivation. Lack of adequate knowledge and even false perceptions about GMOs in the small sample indicate the need for more extensive surveying of the farming community in Poland, as well as the need for a substantive discussion of the benefits and potential risks.
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