Andrew J. Knight
Michigan State University.
Whereas most research on public perceptions of genetically modified products have focused on first-generation biotechnologies and genetically modified foods, this paper examines public support for a variety of animal and plant agricultural biotechnology applications and explores whether the determinants of support for each application vary by knowledge, trust, benefits, and sociodemographic variables. The data for this study were gathered from 432 adults in a regional Southwestern telephone survey conducted from March 28 through May 4, 2004. The results revealed that the vehicle used (animal or plant) appears to outweigh both the function and type of application, although nonfood applications tended to receive higher support levels than genetically modified foods. Plant applications received higher support than animal applications. Additionally, the determinants for each biotechnology application were different, and their explanatory power varied by application. Only perceived benefits was significantly related to each biotechnology application.
Key words: Benefits, biotechnology, cloning, functional foods, genetically modified animals, genetically modified foods, plantmade industrial products, plant-made pharmaceuticals, plant molecular farming.