Health professionals hold positive attitudes toward biotechnology and genetically engineered foods.
ABSTRACT Few biotechnology processes have elicited the degree of controversy that genetic manipulation of food through recombinant DNA technology has. Research has shown that consumers turn to health professionals for answers to questions regarding health and nutrition. This study sought to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of physicians (MDs/DOs), nurse practitioners (NPs), and registered dietitians (RDs) toward food biotechnology and genetic engineering (GE). Six hundred three-part, self-administered surveys were sent to health professionals holding active professional licenses. Statistical analysis included analysis of variance with Tukey's HSD and Scheffe's post hoc tests. Attitudes toward GE were positive. MDs held more positive attitudes than NPs or RDs (p = .000). MDs and NPs supported the use of GE to improve plant resistance to pests; RDs tended to support nutritional-improvement technology. All groups supported the use of GE to produce human medicines and the current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling policy. No profession was more knowledgeable than another. Biotechnology holds the potential to positively affect human health. All health professionals can facilitate or diminish this process through their understanding of the technology and their ability to communicate effectively about the science and issues associated with biotechnology.
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ABSTRACT: This study examined elementary education pre-service teachers" attitudes towards biotech-nology processes. A sample comprised 88 elementary education pre-service teachers at a mid-sized university in the Midwest of the USA. Sixty and 28 of these pre-service teachers were enrolled in Introductory Science Methods course and Advance Science Methods Course, respectively. Data were collected using a questionnaire which had 15 statements on a 3 Likert-scale and required students to indicate whether each statement is acceptable or unacceptable. The results indicated that elementary education pre-service teachers from both courses generally held a wide range of attitudes towards biotechnology. Notably, ma-jority of the pre-service teachers approved the genetic modification of microorganisms and plants, but disapproved the processes that involved the insertion or removal of genes in hu-mans and animals. Implications for science teacher education, curriculum as well as rec-ommendations for further research are discussed.
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ABSTRACT: An online needs assessment survey of healthcare providers was developed and implemented to determine knowledge and attitudes about the benefits and risks of consuming seafood along with how this might impact patient/clientele counseling. Only 6 of the 45 knowledge items queried (13%) met the 80% subject mastery or proficiency with a total knowledge score of 56 ± 18%. Based on this survey, it was found that healthcare providers were less than proficient regarding all knowledge areas for seafood. Understanding of seafood safety and contaminants was low. In addition, while the majority (76%) of healthcare respondents knew the correct recommendation for seafood meals per week, they failed to identify the groups that were targeted by the Food and Drug Administration/Environmental Protection Agency (FDA/EPA) advisory about seafood and mercury and therefore could be providing inaccurate information. Attitudinal responses for 18 items resulted in an overall average score of 3.28 ± 0.47 meaning slightly agree (based on a 5-point Likert scale strongly disagree—strongly agree). While trends showed that it was important to the respondents to provide accurate information (3.78 ± 1.06) about seafood to their patients, they felt more comfortable recommending that their patients follow government advice (3.52 ± 0.91) about both seafood safety and which seafood to eat over other sources. Combined with a low knowledge base, attitudinal responses indicate that there could be a barrier to both outreach education to these healthcare providers and to their patient counseling regarding seafood consumption. Results also showed that a combination of online, science-based, easy to access information with the capability to provide brochure-formatted information would appear to be the best way to communicate seafood safety, nutrition, and health information.Journal of Food Science Education 09/2013; 12(4). DOI:10.1111/1541-4329.12014