Czech farmers’ attitudes towards genetically modified crops



Rok publikování 2021
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj Journal of Rural Studies
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta sociálních studií

Klíčová slova Farmer; GMO; attitude; discourse; Bt maize
Přiložené soubory
Popis The risk management of the production of genetically modified (GM) crops on the farm level in the EU relies heavily on the compliance of farmers with specific rules. Such compliance may vary depending on the attitudes and practices of individual farmers. However, the published literature has predominantly focused on the experience of the adopters of GM crops and the interest of farmers in growing potentially permitted GM crops rather than on understanding farmers’ attitudes. This study aims at contributing to this field by exploring the attitudes of farmers who cultivated GM maize and their non-GM conventional and organic neighbours in the context of public discourses in the Czech Republic. The results of a sociological discourse analysis of interviews with twenty-two farmers revealed supportive and opposing attitudes towards GM crops. The dividing line of the discourses was not between adopters and non-adopters of GM maize but rather between farmers operating in conventional and organic agriculture. Most of the Czech farmers were supportive of the cultivation of GM crops. They perceived GM crops as safe, praised their benefits, and justified their cultivation ethically. Furthermore, they considered GM crops inevitable, equated them with progress, and looked up to the progressive USA. Only a few of the farmers opposed GM crops by emphasising their risks and their doubts about their safety, challenging the legitimacy of industrial risk assessment, and raising the ethical issues. Compared to other European farmers, the Czech farmers who were interviewed were exceptionally positive about GM crops. The farmers’ discourse which was supportive of GM crops was co-constituted by the power of the dominant Czech public GMO discourse, which is uncritical and supportive of the use of GM crops.
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