Inderscience Publishers

Stakeholder perceptions towards agricultural biotechnology in Mexico

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National debates on the risks and benefits of agricultural biotechnology are strongly framed by a country's particular cultural, historical and environmental circumstances, as well as political and economic interests. The following study uses the case of Mexico to investigate stakeholder attitudes in the public debate on agricultural biotechnology in developing countries. For this purpose, a perception survey with 52 stakeholder representatives was conducted in July 2000 in Mexico. The results indicate that the stakeholders in Mexico generally expect agriculture to benefit from agricultural biotechnology and do not believe that the consumption of genetically modified foods will have a serious impact on human health. In turn, they are very concerned about the potential impact of transgenic crops on Mexico's rich biodiversity and are afraid that biosafety guidelines will not be implemented properly. Within the public debate on agricultural biotechnology, academia is regarded as the most important and most trustworthy domestic stakeholder. Its intellectual leadership may be of crucial importance to bring supporters and opponents closer together and elaborate a joint public consensus.

Keywords: Mexico, agricultural biotechnology, stakeholder attitudes, public trust

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