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Crop Biotech Update

Awareness of GM Rice's Benefits Affects Public Acceptance in Malaysia

February 24, 2021

Researchers from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation conducted a study to determine the Malaysian stakeholders' intention to purchase high-yielding genetically modified (GM) rice. The results exhibited that the Malaysian public were moderately enthusiastic about it.

The survey was conducted from March to December 2013 through individual questionnaires administered face to face to 509 adult respondents in Klang Valley composed of producers, scientists, policy makers, media practitioners, NGO personnel, religious scholars, university students, and the public. The questionnaire focused on a wild rice type with a high-yield gene and factors related to it such as the consumers' perceived benefits and risks about it, perceived moral concerns and religious concerns towards it, and their behavioral intention to purchase it. The researchers believe that it is important to assess the stakeholders' intentions to buy GM rice for its successful commercialization in Malaysia.

The study found that overall, the respondents expressed moderate enthusiastic intentions to purchase GM rice. The researchers documented that the stakeholders considered GM rice to have moderate benefits and may bring moderate potential risks to their health and the environment. The respondents also perceived moderate moral issues towards it, but that it is moderately acceptable by their religion. These factors influence their perception to buy GM rice. Aside from those, the researchers also noted that the public had a low level of awareness and knowledge of modern biotechnology thus was not entirely familiar with it. The study concluded that GM rice could be accepted in Malaysia if the public recognizes its benefits are greater than its risks and that safety and moral concerns should be addressed by appropriate regulation.

Read the full paper published by the Academy of Strategic Management Journal to know more.

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