DataSheet1_Attitudes of the Ecuadorian University Community Toward Genetically Modified Organisms.docx
Introduction: The acceptance of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by the civilian population in Ecuador is a controversial issue, where beliefs and practices are determinant. In Ecuador, the use of GMOs for research or productive purposes has been banned since 2008; however, the current position of the population toward this technology is unknown.
Objective: The aim of the study was to explain the attitude toward GMOs in the Ecuadorian university population based on sociodemographic variables, knowledge, beliefs, practices, and bioethical approach.
Methods: A validated survey was applied to 719 students and teachers of the Catholic University of Cuenca through Google Forms. The collected data were processed using SPSS 23.0 software. Multivariate and linear regression analyses were used to explain the attitude toward GMOs based on the variables studied.
Results: Partial approval of GMO use is research-oriented, with a rejection toward food. The linear regression model explained 65% of the variance of attitude toward GMOs from the beliefs, practices, knowledge, and bioethical approach variables. The sociodemographic variables were completely excluded from the model due to the absence of statistical significance.
Conclusions: The incipient acceptance of GMOs in the academic sector corroborates a transformation in the thinking of Ecuadorian civil society. Considerations on the use of GMOs are supported by a bioethical approach that leans toward a pragmatic utilitarianism based on the immediate or mediate benefits of the technology.
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