Rumble, J. N., Ruth, T. K., Owens, C. T., Lamm, A. J., Taylor, M. R., & Ellis, J. D. (2016). Saving citrus: Does the next generation see GM science as a solution? Journal of Agricultural Education, 57(4), 160-173. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2016.04160
Citrus is one of Florida’s most prominent commodities, providing 66% of the total United States’ value for oranges. Florida’s citrus production decreased 21% in 2014 from the previous season, partly due to the disease citrus greening. The science of genetic modification (GM) is one of the most promising solutions to the problem. However, a majority of American adults believe foods produced using GM science are unsafe for consumption. This study investigated the diffusion of GM science among Millennial students in a College of Agriculture at a land-grant university and their intent to consume citrus from a tree developed with GM science. An online survey collected data about Rogers’ diffusion of innovation model characteristics and intent to consume GM citrus from 98 respondents. Relative advantage and compatibility of GM science were rated most favorably; observability was rated the lowest. The majority of respondents were likely or extremely likely to consume fruit or juice from GM trees. Compatibility was the only significant predictor of likelihood to consume GM citrus. A better demonstration of GM science’s relative advantage, compatability, trialability, complexity and observability through formal education is needed to improve GM science adoption by Millennials.