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American Journal of Food Technology
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 7  |  Page No.: 541 - 554

Public Perception of Genetically Modified Food in Ghana

J.N. Buah    

Abstract: A seventy question questionnaire were administered to (1,200) respondents to find out the perceptions of the Ghanaian public on Genetically modified foods (GM Foods). The questionnaires which covered wide range of issues and structured such that a complete picture of the understanding and perceptions of the respondents would clearly come out, were administered between March 2009 to September 2009. The respondents cut across sectors of the country (Academics, Researchers, Government ministry workers and ordinary Ghanaians) to ensure a good representation of the public. Three hundred people were selected from each of the four categories. Even though more than 60% of respondents from all the categories had heard of GM food, the level of knowledge for most of the respondents was rated as low or average. This was because apart from 50 and 60%, respectively of academics and researchers who had heard of GM foods from workshops, most of the respondents had heard of GM foods from friends, who themselves may not have had a better understanding of GM foods. More than 80% of the respondents from government ministry workers and the ordinary Ghanaian category were unwilling to accept GM foods and their rejection was based on the fear of unknown side effects and on ethical considerations. It was evident that there is the need for a more comprehensive public education and debates to improve the perceptions of the public on GM foods.

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