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Crop Biotech Update

Chinese Study Confirms that Extreme GM Opposition is Associated With Low Objective Knowledge Levels

March 24, 2021

A study in the US done in 2019 found that extreme opposition to genetically modified (GM) food was associated with low levels of objective knowledge. Now, a similar study was done in China, and the results were found to be the same.

Researchers from different universities in Wuhan, Guangzhou, and Shanghai conducted a conceptual replication of the study with Chinese internet users as respondents. Their study had two goals: first, to investigate the knowledge and attitudes of extreme opponents of GM food and other genetic engineering applications; and second, to examine the same factors of extreme supporters as well. The results showed a similar pattern for extreme opponents of GM food in China with that of the 2019 US study. In addition, the same pattern was also observed for extreme supporters of other genetic engineering applications. More interestingly, the researchers found that the Chinese, in general, hold negative attitudes toward GM food yet a positive attitude toward other genetic engineering applications. The findings can help identify strategies to boost acceptance of GM foods in the country.

The study was published by the Journal of Environmental Psychology.

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