Genetically Modified (GM) Rice : Exploring University Students’ Awareness and Acceptance in Malaysia
Publication Date : 13/06/2019
The adoption of genetic engineering in agriculture has made a strong impact. It not only resulted in positive implications but also raised controversies across the continents leading to further research on consumers’ awareness, acceptance and perception on GM food. This study was conducted to explore the awareness and the acceptance of GM rice among students in Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Selangor as there has been no similar study on students in Malaysia. A qualitative approach was adopted in this study; focus group discussions among UiTM students from two campuses and semi structured interviews with representatives from different fields. Findings from data collected revealed that a majority of the students in UiTM Selangor were neutral regarding GM rice and the public in general have low awareness and negative acceptance towards GM food in Malaysia. Educational background have made an impact on awareness; science students showed higher level of awareness compared to non-science students. Several recommendations could be made to the relevant government bodies to enhance the current scenario. These include exposure of genetic engineering technology to students from primary to tertiary level in Malaysia, formulating strategic agricultural policies and plans to benefit the farmers and engagement of appropriate GM awareness programmes for the public.
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