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Consumers opposition to GMOs based mostly on “intuition” and not science

| | June 17, 2015
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Approximately 88 percent of U.S. scientists agree that GMOs are safe to eat, but this position is only shared by 37 percent of laymen. In all of these cases I outlined earlier, there seems to be this direct correlation between the degree of expertise and certainty; or inversely proportional to low level expertise. One group stands on facts, while the other on belief. Why would a person who hasn’t even remotely sacrificed the same amount of time, energy and sweat as an expert rebut the former? Better said, why would he be so certain he’s right? Writing in a paper published in Trends in Plant Science, a group of biotech researchers and philosophers note:

“Public opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) remains strong. By contrast, studies demonstrate again and again that GM crops make a valuable contribution to the development of a sustainable type of agriculture. The discrepancy between public opinion and the scientific evidence requires an explanation. We argue that intuitive expectations about the world render the human mind vulnerable to particular misrepresentations of GMOs.

Lay people are often unable or are simply not interested in investing large amounts of time and energy to acquire a profound grasp of complex technologies.” The authors conclude that the main issue at hand is a conflict between reason (an advised opinion based on facts) and intuition.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: A psychological examination of why people hate GMOs (when they shouldn’t)

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