How ‘technophobia’ helps explain public opposition to GMOs and biotechnology

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Image credit: Paul Langrock/Greenpeace

It is now common sense to argue that the issue lies not in the concept of the technology, but with a phenomenon known as technophobia that is normally associated with humans and new technologies. It connotes fear and dislike for technological innovations, mostly among those who do not really understand scientific principles.

Biotechnology is simply any technique that uses living organisms or substances from other organisms to make or modify a product, such as to improve plants and animals or to develop microorganisms. It is an easy application of natural processes that scientists have studied and are able to apply to enhance human activities.

The crisis now is that hunger, poverty, malnutrition, and sustainable agricultural growth disproportionately impact Less Developed Countries (LDCs). And solutions like biotechnology are often inaccessible where they are most solely needed. Biotechnology is at the heart of this discussion, inciting a debate fuelled by misinformation and dominated by anti-GMO activists. Meanwhile, those whose lives would be impacted by advances in biotechnology are left out of the global conversation.

Going forward, Nigeria needs to focus less on the concerns raised by technophobes and more on the modernization of its biotechnology resources as it strives to enhance the standard of living of millions of Nigerians through the application of this new agricultural tool.

Read full, original post: GMOs: The contending forces

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