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An expert in community attitudes to food says more Australians are accepting of the science behind genetically modified organisms, but they hold serious concerns about their use in agriculture.
In her research, University of Adelaide Professor Rachel Ankeny found many of those opposed to GMOs in agriculture had no issue with the technology or science, but were worried about their impact on the environment and the profit focus of multinational companies that develop the seeds and pesticides.
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“People are saying ‘I’m not opposed to the process or the science of GM, but I’m worried about the ownership by multinationals, I’m worried about who is going to benefit in particular, who is making the profit, I’m worried because it doesn’t seem like the kinds of crops or the kinds of interventions proposed are actually a real benefit, except in terms of profit.'”
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Professor Ankeny said the Australian public had consistently made a distinction between GM technology in medicine and agriculture.
“People make the distinction because there are clear benefits to them in the medical applications.
“In other words, people can see it will improve their health or save their life.”
In agriculture, the research conducted by Professor Ankeny and her team revealed people saw the use of GM technology as purely a means of achieving better profits.