Philip J. Jones and Richard B. Tranter
University of Reading, UK
Although no GM crops currently are licensed for commercial production in the UK, as opposition to GM crops by consumers softens, this could change quickly. Although past studies have examined attitudes of UK farmers toward GM technologies in general, there has been little work on the impact of possible coexistence measures on their attitudes toward GM crop production. This could be because the UK Government has not engaged in any public dialogue on the coexistence measures that might be applied on farms. Based on a farm survey, this article examines farmers’ attitudes toward GM technologies and planting intentions for three crops (maize, oilseed rape, and sugar beet) based on a GM availability scenario. The article then nuances this analysis with a review of farmer perceptions of the level of constraint associated with a suite of notional farmlevel coexistence measures and issues, based on current European Commission guidelines and practice in other EU Member States.
Key words: Coexistence measures, farmer attitudes, GM crops, maize, oilseed rape, sugar beet.