According to dictionary.com, a genetically modified food is “an organism whose genetic characteristics have been altered by the insertion of a modified gene or a gene from another organism using the techniques of genetic engineering” (Genetically Modified, 2012). There are many aspects that surround genetically modified (GM) foods that the general public may not know or understand. These individuals may be for or against GM foods. To better understand these feelings, our group conducted a mail survey to compare how males and females felt towards GM foods. We wanted to find out whether they were in favor or against these goods and why. Not only were we interested in their position on GM foods but also wanted to find out the knowledge they possessed about them. Our teams’ methodology was in the form of a mail survey. Our participants were located in the city of West Hollywood and Northridge, CA. We sent out a total of 252 surveys, 126 to West Hollywood and 126 to Northridge. We received 38 completed questionnaires combined from both cities. In each city we split up the 126 surveys into 2 more groups, 63 were sent the treatment cover letter and 63 were sent the control cover letter. The treatment consisted of a cover letter with a fake researcher’s last name that was similar to the participant’s last name. The control group was labeled with one of our own researcher’s name, Bryce Schoening. We acquired our participant’s addresses through whitepages.com under the tab labeled, “Address & Neighbors.”
A. Introduction and Literature Review
A-1. Genetically modified foods have become a serious topic in today’s society but do they have all the facts. A problem in our society pertaining to GM foods is how much do they know about the topic. The media might be misconstruing GM foods by putting a negative connotation on them without supporting facts, thus giving the public a negative outlook. Another problem is what side do individuals take when they are asked if they are in favor or against GM foods. Our group feels that it is important to investigate the feelings that a sample population has towards GM foods based on knowledge, favorability, and perception. The survey will also answer why certain individuals are in favor or against GM foods.
A-2. Literature Review
“Globally our food system is not sustainable, does not provide adequate nutrition to everyone on the planet and, at the same time, changes to our climate threaten the future of farming as we know it” (Beddington 1). Genetically modified (GM) foods could be one of the answers to this future crisis. GM foods are so new to the public eye that even the researchers and scientist have not been given a chance to perform proper tests to determine the safety of the food. Thus, giving GM foods a bad name through false information, lack of information, and negative media exposure. Once the scientific community gets a chance to perform these experiments on GM foods, the results might test positive. “Public opposition to genetically modified (GM) food and crops is widely interpreted as the result of the public’s misperception of the risks. With scientific assessment pointing to no unique risks from GM crops and foods…” (Gaskell). Along with the misperception of risk, the varieties of benefits from these foods are being overshadowed. “Genetically modified (GM) crops and foods are claimed to offer a range of benefits to a variety of beneficiaries, including higher productivity and lower pesticide costs for producers; less environmental pollution from pesticides and herbicides, and a new crop varieties to ameliorate hunger in developing countries” (Gaskell). There are many more benefits from GM foods that the public does not know about, these are just a couple.
Although GM foods are...