Attitudes of Pulse Farmers in Western Australia towards Genetically Modified Organisms in Agriculture

D.J. Mcdougall, Sally Marsh, F.P. Smith, Nancy Longnecker

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Abstract

A survey of pulse farmers in Western Australia in April 1999 found high levels of awareness of and interest in genetic engineering. Farmers' willingness to use or consume a range of crops genetically modified for on-farm production or input benefits (such as pest and herbicide resistance) was generally high. Acceptability of a range of other potential products specifying cross-species or cross-kingdom gene transfer was less. Labelling of GM foods was rated as important. Concern over a number of GM issues was highest with regard to the corporate ownership and marketing of the technology and the potential lack of demand for GM produce. Farmers also noted concern about a range of environmental and human health and safety issues. We conclude that pulse farmers in Western Australia are highly aware of and generally (but not entirely) accepting of GMOs in agriculture. Attitudes are most positive where a direct benefit: to farm production is indicated. Nonetheless significant concerns over socio-economic, environmental and human health issues are present.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-39
JournalAustralasian Biotechnology
Volume11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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    Mcdougall, D. J., Marsh, S., Smith, F. P., & Longnecker, N. (2001). Attitudes of Pulse Farmers in Western Australia towards Genetically Modified Organisms in Agriculture. Australasian Biotechnology, 11(3), 36-39.