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Table 2 Rankings of the concepts related to the opportunities and challenges of transgenic products (number respondents = 30)

From: Challenges and opportunities of transgenic agricultural products in Iran: convergence of perspectives using Delphi technique

Rank The concepts of opportunities Mean Standard deviation
1 Population growth and nutritional needs of human beings reflect the necessity of producing transgenic plants 4.55 0.57
2 The technology of transgenic plants supports sustainable agriculture development goals 4.53 0.73
3 Like natural herbs, transgenic plants completely decompose and return to nature 4.53 0.90
4 Transgenic technology is in progress and provides new opportunities for agricultural production 4.50 0.68
5 Transgenic plants reduce the use of pesticides and thus contribute to protection of environment 4.37 0.90
6 Cultivation of transgenic plants minimizes pesticide residues in food products and environment 4.28 0.88
7 Increasing agricultural production, boosting economic profits, and eliminating poverty are among the benefits of transgenic plants 4.27 0.94
8 Transgenic products have higher nutritional value than other plants 4.26 0.94
9 Production of transgenic plants boosts resistance to pests and diseases 4.17 0.91
10 Transgenic plants reduce the negative environmental impacts of agricultural activities 4.13 0.86
11 Transgenic foods are healthy and like ordinary foods are considered safe to eat 4.13 1.04
12 Transgenic plants help control weeds 4.03 0.77
13 Having natural and beneficial genes is the main distinction between transgenic plants and other plants 4.00 0.78
14 Cultivation of transgenic plants can lead to soil protection 4.00 0.92
15 Cultivation of transgenic plants preserves biodiversity 3.83 1.053
16 Increasing growth of transgenic plants around the world is an indicator of their acceptance by farmers 3.83 1.289
Rank The concepts of challenges Mean Standard deviation
1 Due to political issues and deficiencies in planning, the production of transgenic plants has faced with some problems 4.40 0.72
2 Resistance of politicians in some countries (like Iran) has limited the spread of transgenic plants 4.37 0.99
3 Lack of familiarity with methods, goals, and results of genetic engineering causes people to be concerned about the acceptance of transgenic plants 4.33 0.95
4 Production of transgenic plants in Iran is unnecessary and traditional breeding methods can meet future food needs 4.27 1.08
5 Inconspicuous role of the mass media in introducing the achievements of transgenic technology has led to backwardness of this technology 4.13 0.90
6 Managerial systems, regulatory agencies, and controllers of transgenic plant production are faced with major problems in Iran 4.13 1.13
7 Little attention of authorities to production of transgenic plants reduces the rate of productivity and increases the need for resources of energy 3.97 0.89
8 Lack of an educational, research, and development (ERD) system is a significant barrier for development of this new technology 3.93 1.01
9 Lack of educators and knowledgeable specialists in development of transgenic plants is one of the main challenges in this area 3.86 1.10
10 Lack of awareness of consumers and manufacturers about the features of transgenic technology is an obstacle for its development 3.86 1.38
11 Administrative bureaucracy is one of the main problems of transgenic plants’ development 3.83 0.88
12 Lack of an enabling environment for private sector’s activity has led to slow growth and development of transgenic products in agricultural sector 3.83 1.02
13 The process of generating knowledge and technology on transgenic plants in Iran is very slow 3.63 1.18
14 The risky dimensions of transgenic plants are certainly not proven and these negative impacts should not be ignored 3.63 1.29
15 Lack of consensus on potential risks of transgenic plants has prevented the massive production of these products 3.63 1.32
16 Lack of accurate statistical information on transgenic plants has prevented the growth of this area 3.57 1.10
17 The country’s inappropriate customs rules are of main barriers for development of this new technology 3.40 1.19
18 There is no consensus among experts on the usage of transgenic products 3.37 1.49
19 Non-certification of the use of transgenic products by recognized scientific and research authorities is one of the weaknesses in their application 3.30 1.46
20 Resistance of consumers has prevented the spread of transgenic plants in some countries (including Iran) 2.97 1.35
21 Transgenic plants produce damage to other species (non-target species) 2.40 1.32
22 Production of transgenic plants destroys valuable resources and resists pests 2.23 1.22
23 The use of transgenic plants may lead to resistance to antibiotics. 2.17 1.26
24 The use of transgenic plants may cause tumors (cancer) and allergies in individuals 2.07 1.23
25 The use of transgenic plants can create risks for human reproduction and fertility 2.06 1.16
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