Fatal attraction: the intuitive appeal of GMO opposition

Stefaan Blancke*, Frank Van Breusegem, Geert De Jaeger, Johan Braeckman, Mare Van Montagu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

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. We explain how the involvement of particular intuitions accounts for the popularity, persistence, and typical features of GM opposition and tackle possible objections to our approach. To conclude, we discuss the implications for science education, science communication, and the environmental movement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-418
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in plant science
Volume20
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • genetically modified organisms
  • public opposition
  • intuitive mind
  • cultural attraction
  • DISGUST
  • BIOTECHNOLOGY
  • BELIEFS
  • HEALTH
  • IMPACT
  • CROPS

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