Klara Fischer, Sebastian Hess
Swedish farmers were surveyed about their perceptions of genetically modified (GM) feed. Livestock in the EU are frequently given feed containing imported genetically modified (GM) crops, with GM fodder often being cheaper for farmers. However, there is also a growing market for ‘GM-free’ animal-based products. While public concerns about GMOs have been studied extensively, less is known about farmers’ views. The limited literature on farmers and GMOs tends to focus on the economic factors influencing their adoption. The present study contributes the perspective of farmers as members of the general public, thus including a broader set of factors known to be relevant for the public perception of GMOs. The results indicated that farmers were worried about: i) unforeseen consequences for the environment, ii) unforeseen consequences for human and animal health, and iii) the dominance of multinational companies. Farmers who could expect their farm businesses to benefit from existing GMOs were more positive, whereas those who were unlikely to experience any benefits or who could expect their farm business to be adversely affected were more negative. Nevertheless, adherence to a broader set of positive or negative values suggests that Swedish farmers’ perspectives on GMOs go further than pure considerations of farm management.