Marion Zammit-Mangion, Ameer Al-Qallaf, and Joseph Vella
University of Malta
This article examines the perceptions and acceptance of GM foods in 217 Maltese youths and attempts to establish whether exposure to formal channels of knowledge—such as biology tuition—may act to predispose students to be GM-technology receptive. Regardless of gender or academic background, students were found to be supportive of creating GM plants but opposed to the creation of GM animals. However, this study showed that those who had been exposed to formal-based knowledge were generally more positively disposed to purchase plant-derived GM foods, while those who had been exposed to informal knowledge (minimum to no biology) were negatively disposed to the purchase of GM produce. These results have implications for companies producing GM products, as well as decision makers.
Key words: Biology, genetically modified foods, perceptions.