Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Dale Miller

Second Advisor

Jill Litt

Third Advisor

Donna Louie

Abstract

This paper discusses the controversial topic of Genetically Modified Organisms, their relationship with food crops, and how opinions on their use are formed. University students are taught to think critically about each subject presented to them and view multiple aspects of the issue. It could be assumed that students studying in an environmental field, such as Environmental Studies, may have more knowledge and stronger opinions about the topic. A survey was sent to roughly 10,000 CU-Boulder students in order to figure out where they get their information on GMOs, what risks and benefits they know about GMOs, and what their overall opinion is about them. The results showed a much more neutral response to how GMOs are being used and revealed that students are using more objective and scientific sources for their information gathering. The respondents also recognized both the concerns and benefits that result from GMOs for food crops. Having more information about the topic did not necessarily show a stronger opinion regarding the topic. One recommendation for future studies would be to survey public opinions on GMOs, then provide them with information they do not already know about GMOs, and see if it changes their opinion.