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 (www.bruceboyes.info) is editor, lead writer, and a director of the award-winning RealKM Magazine (www.realkm.com), and a knowledge management (KM), environmental management, and project management consultant. He holds a Master of Environmental Management with Distinction, and his expertise and experience includes knowledge management (KM), environmental management, project management, stakeholder engagement, teaching and training, communications, research, and writing and editing. 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, using agile and knowledge management approaches to oversee an award-winning $77.4 million western Sydney river recovery program, leading a knowledge strategy process for Australia's 56 natural resource management (NRM) regional organisations, pioneering collaborative learning and governance approaches to support the sustainable management of landscapes and catchments, and initiating and teaching two new knowledge management subjects at Shanxi University in China. 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.

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