Factors Influencing Public Acceptance of Agro-biotechnology
Public acceptance can be understood as the combined attitude of individuals on certain issues, such as those arising from technological innovations. Other studies have concluded that the public’s attitude towards biotechnology was primarily driven by several factors such as the perceived benefit, risk ,risk acceptance, moral concerns, familiarity and encouragement. The purpose of this paper is to study the factors predicting the encouragement of GM palm oil (modified to reduce its saturated fat content) by the Malaysian public. A survey was carried out on 1017 respondents from various stakeholders’ groups in the Klang Valley region. In order to detect the structure of attitude amongst the stakeholders in the Klang Valley region, structural equation modeling (SEM) using AMOS version 5.1 was carried out. The result of the survey shows that attitudes towards complex issues such as agro-biotechnology should be seen as a multi-faceted/multidimensional process. The most important factors predicting encouragement of GM palm oil are the specific application-linked perceptions about the benefit, acceptance of risk and moral concern while familiarity, perceived risk and several general attitudinal factors are either directly or indirectly with encouragement and the attitudinal dimensions.
Keywords: Public Acceptance, Agrobiotechnology, Structural Equation Modelling
Associate Prof. Dr. Latifah Amin
Senior Lecturer, Centre for General Studies, National University of Malaysia