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Scientists’ attitudes toward agricultural GM technology development and GM food in China

Scientists’ attitudes toward agricultural GM technology development and GM food in China PurposePrevious studies have mainly focused on public opinions regarding genetically modified (GM) technology and GM food. The purpose of this paper is to assess scientists’ attitudes on whether China needs to develop its national agricultural GM technology and their willingness to buy GM food.Design/methodology/approachA stratified sampling method was used to select and interview 806 scientists from six major agricultural universities and 20 research institutes under two national academies in China in 2013. Based on these data, the authors use both descriptive statistics and multivariate regression analysis to examine scientists’ attitudes toward agricultural GM technology and food, using GM soybean oil as an example of GM foods.FindingsThe survey results show that nearly three-quarters of scientists agree that China needs to develop its agricultural GM technology, but their attitudes differ largely. Only 29 percent of scientists are willing to buy GM soybean oil, similar to urban consumers (25 percent) in China. The knowledge of biology is extensive for some scientists but varies significant among scientists and correlates positively with their attitudes toward agricultural GM technology and GM soybean oil. Younger and male scientists with higher professional titles, and those involved in GM research are more in favor of China’s GM technology compared to other scientists. Female scientists, scientists with lower professional titles, those that have never engaged in GM research or are from non-agricultural scientific disciplines are less willing to buy GM soybean oil. Interestingly, their low willingness to buy GM soybean oil is inconsistent with the fact that it is the most common edible oil in China.Originality/valueThis study is the first to examine scientists’ attitudes toward GM technology and food in China. The results of this study contribute to understanding the current debates on GM technology and the relevance of research, based on the willingness to buy GM food, for decision making regarding the commercialization of GM technology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Agricultural Economic Review Emerald Publishing

Scientists’ attitudes toward agricultural GM technology development and GM food in China

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1756-137X
DOI
10.1108/CAER-05-2017-0101
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposePrevious studies have mainly focused on public opinions regarding genetically modified (GM) technology and GM food. The purpose of this paper is to assess scientists’ attitudes on whether China needs to develop its national agricultural GM technology and their willingness to buy GM food.Design/methodology/approachA stratified sampling method was used to select and interview 806 scientists from six major agricultural universities and 20 research institutes under two national academies in China in 2013. Based on these data, the authors use both descriptive statistics and multivariate regression analysis to examine scientists’ attitudes toward agricultural GM technology and food, using GM soybean oil as an example of GM foods.FindingsThe survey results show that nearly three-quarters of scientists agree that China needs to develop its agricultural GM technology, but their attitudes differ largely. Only 29 percent of scientists are willing to buy GM soybean oil, similar to urban consumers (25 percent) in China. The knowledge of biology is extensive for some scientists but varies significant among scientists and correlates positively with their attitudes toward agricultural GM technology and GM soybean oil. Younger and male scientists with higher professional titles, and those involved in GM research are more in favor of China’s GM technology compared to other scientists. Female scientists, scientists with lower professional titles, those that have never engaged in GM research or are from non-agricultural scientific disciplines are less willing to buy GM soybean oil. Interestingly, their low willingness to buy GM soybean oil is inconsistent with the fact that it is the most common edible oil in China.Originality/valueThis study is the first to examine scientists’ attitudes toward GM technology and food in China. The results of this study contribute to understanding the current debates on GM technology and the relevance of research, based on the willingness to buy GM food, for decision making regarding the commercialization of GM technology.

Journal

China Agricultural Economic ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 4, 2017

References