Brain power

Why people oppose GMOs when the science says they are safe

There has been considerable public opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), with many people believing they are unsafe to eat or cause environmental harm. However, the scientific evidence says that GMOs are safe to eat and can help to make agriculture more sustainable. Why aren’t people accepting the evidence? As reported in Scientific American, intuition plays a significant role in the large discrepancy between opinion and evidence.

Research has found that:

• People tend to rely on intuitive reasoning to make a judgment on GMOs.
• This intuitive reasoning includes folk biology, teleological and intentional intuitions and disgust.
• Anti-GMO activists have exploited intuitions successfully to promote their cause.
• Intuitive judgments steer people away from sustainable solutions.

Bruce Boyes

Bruce Boyes ( is editor, lead writer, and a director of the award-winning RealKM Magazine ( and currently also teaches in the University of NSW (UNSW) Foundation Studies program in China. He has expertise and experience in a wide range of areas including knowledge management (KM), environmental management, program and project management, writing and editing, stakeholder engagement, communications, and research. Bruce holds a Master of Environmental Management with Distinction and a Certificate of Technology (Electronics). With a demonstrated ability to identify and implement innovative solutions to social and ecological complexity, Bruce's many career highlights include establishing RealKM Magazine as an award-winning resource for knowledge managers, using agile and knowledge management approaches to oversee the implementation of an award-winning $77.4 million river recovery program in western Sydney on time and under budget, leading a knowledge strategy process for Australia's 56 natural resource management (NRM) regional organisations, pioneering collaborative learning and governance approaches to support communities to sustainably manage landscapes and catchments, and initiating and teaching two new knowledge management subjects at Shanxi University in China.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button