Open Access

Attitudes Towards Genetically Modified Organisms in Slovenia: Between Knowledge and Myths / Stališča Do Genetsko Modificiranih Organizmov V Sloveniji: Poznavanje In Miti


Objective: Because existing studies examining the impact of knowledge on people’s attitudes towards genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have had contradictory results, the goal of this study was to explore the attitudes that the population of Slovenia has towards GMOs and how knowledge affects their attitudes.

Methods: In January 2012, a telephone survey was conducted researching attitudes towards GMOs and knowledge about them on a representative sample of the population of Slovenia (N=446).

Results: The results revealed a predominantly negative attitude towards GMOs, regardless of their type, application and geographical distance; perceptions of the negative impact of GMOs on an individual’s health were particularly strong. The majority of respondents (59.5%) had moderate knowledge about GMOs, while a largeshare (30.4%) had poor knowledge of the topic. They had better objective knowledge about topics linked to formal education or legislation and a weaker understanding of mass media myths. Correlation analysis and one-way analysis of variance showed a statistically significant correlation between knowledge and attitudes towards GMOs. The respondents with better objective knowledge (who gave the correct answers to test questions) had a less firm and a more positive attitude towards GMOs and vice versa. The respondents who lacked objective knowledge but expressed subjective knowledge (they were convinced that their answers were correct) on average had a more negative attitude towards GMOs compared to those who lacked subjective knowledge.

Conclusions: This finding leads to the conclusion that knowledge, particularly relating to media myths about GMOs, has an important role in forming attitudes towards the impact of GMOs on an individual’s health.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Hygiene and Environmental Medicine