Online Program

Attitudes, Intentions, and Behaviors: A New Analysis and Historical Perspective of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Jessica Filippoli, MCPHS University, Mickleton, NJ
Keri Griffin, PhD, MPH, MPA, MCHES, School of Arts and Sciences, MCPHS University, Boston, MA

The science surrounding GMOs is continually evolving.  As we begin to apply a “health in all policies” approach to decision-making, current knowledge about GMOs must be considered if we are to create policies that evoke transparency and stakeholder buy-in.  Therefore, the primary objective of this study is to assess current beliefs, knowledge and intentions about GMOs and compare these data with data from an earlier study.


A convenience sample of 50 participants, aged 18-25, were assessed regarding their knowledge, beliefs, and intentions about GMOs.  The data were analyzed using SPSS version 21 and compared to previously existing data.


A greater number of participants in the current study indicated they have knowledge of and approved of the use of GMOs.  Over half also believed that they are eating GMOs compared to 31% from the earlier study. Current participants were also nearly twice as likely to indicate potential risks from consuming GMOs.  However only 34 percent indicated they would change their habits if they found that GMOs were harmful.


The current study demonstrates an increase in GMO knowledge, and a simultaneous disparity between knowledge and behavioral intention among the study participants.  Compared to previous research, this study demonstrated that the population is more aware of GMOs, but are not necessarily likely to change their consumption habits if they found out GMOs were harmful.  Future studies should assess this population based on the constructs of the Theory of Planned Behavior because of the discrete step of behavioral intention.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the importance of a knowledgeable population in the process of incorporating health in all policies approaches to nutrition policy Discuss data from a pilot study which used the Health Belief Model to demonstrate the disparity between knowledge and of GMOs in the Longwood Medical Area Compare a population of students, scientists, and medical professionals with the general public regarding knowledge of GMOs

Keyword(s): Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been in the field of public health for over 14 years. In that time I have taught and conducted research. I have received a grant from the NIH focusing on risk reduction. I am an assistant professor of public health and director of a public health program. This work was completed by my student during the completion of her Public Health Capstone Course she completed while earning her bachelor's degree.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.