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Abstract

Even after many years of use, genetically modified (GM) grain technologies remain controversial. In 2003-2004, the Direction for Development and Innovation within the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, had funded an initial survey of grain farmer’s opinions and practices regarding the production of GM crops (n=412), which was repeated in 2012-2013 (n=516). This report presents results comparing responses over time, while also covering several new controversial issues in GM production. The topics covered in this report are numerous: 1. the safety of GM foods; 2. the control of agricultural inputs by biotech firms; 3. the capacity of organic crops to coexist with GM crops; 4. the environmental impact of GM crops; 5. why farmers choose GM seeds; 6. crop rotation and fertilization practices; 7. management of pesticide applications and the existence of pests resistant to GM inputs; 8. use of refuges for Bt corn; and 9. GM crop segregation, sales and profits. Overall, Quebec grain farmers’ attitudes and opinions became increasingly favorable toward GM crops over time, but several of their pest management practices remain somewhat tenuous.

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