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ERIC Number: EJ1167122
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1042-0541
U.S. Adults with Agricultural Experience Report More Genetic Engineering Familiarity than Those Without
Stofer, Kathryn A.; Schiebel, Tracee M.
Journal of Agricultural Education, v58 n4 p160-174 2017
Researchers and pollsters still debate the acceptance of genetic engineering technology among U.S. adults, and continue to assess their knowledge as part of this research. While decision-making may not rely entirely on knowledge, querying opinions and perceptions rely on public understanding of genetic engineering terms. Experience with agriculture may increase familiarity with genetic engineering terms. We conducted a national survey of 429 United States adults through Qualtrics and found two-thirds lack any formal, nonformal, or informal agriculture experience. More than half of participants knew "a little" or less for 13 of the 17 terms presented, especially those directly related to genetic engineering or breeding technology for food, such as "genetically modified organism" and "crossbred organism." Consumers with agricultural experience reported more term familiarity for genetics and genetic engineering than those without experience. More than half also felt they did not know the difference between traditional selective breeding, DNA-directed breeding, and genetic engineering, but they still felt both human health and environmental risks should be considered before creating new animal or plant varieties. We must consider the lack of familiarity of genetic-related terms and experience in agriculture when researching or creating educational programming around genetic engineering for food.
American Association for Agricultural Education. P.O. Box 7607, Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, Raleigh, NC 27695. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: US Department of Agriculture
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 2014511812237