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Table 3 Percentage of agreement on 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 Percentage of agreement
1 Population growth and nutritional needs of human beings reflect the necessity of producing transgenic plants 96.7
2 The technology of transgenic plants supports sustainable agriculture development goals 93.3
3 Like natural herbs, transgenic plants completely decompose and return to nature 93.3
4 Transgenic technology is in progress and provides new opportunities for agricultural production 93.3
5 Transgenic plants reduce the use of pesticides and thus contribute to protection of environment 93.3
6 Having natural and beneficial genes is the main distinction between transgenic plants and other plants 93.3
7 Increasing agricultural production, boosting economic profits, and eliminating poverty are among the benefits of transgenic plants 90
8 Production of transgenic plants boosts resistance to pests and diseases 90
9 Transgenic plants reduce the negative environmental impacts of agricultural activities 90
10 Cultivation of transgenic plants minimizes pesticide residues in food products and environment 86.7
11 Transgenic foods are healthy and like ordinary foods are considered safe to eat 86.7
12 Transgenic plants help control weeds 83.3
13 Transgenic products have higher nutritional value than other plants 83.3
14 Cultivation of transgenic plants can lead to soil protection 83.3
15 Cultivation of transgenic plants preserves biodiversity 76.7
16 Increasing growth of transgenic plants around the world is an indicator of their acceptance by farmers 76.6
Rank The concepts of challenges Percentage of agreement
1 Production of transgenic plants in Iran is unnecessary and traditional breeding methods can meet future food needs 100
2 Due to political issues and deficiencies in planning, the production of transgenic plants has faced with some problems 93.4
3 Lack of familiarity with methods, goals, and results of genetic engineering causes people to be concerned about the acceptance of transgenic plants 93.4
4 Inconspicuous role of the mass media in introducing the achievements of transgenic technology has led to backwardness of this technology 93.3
5 Little attention of authorities to production of transgenic plants reduces the rate of productivity and increases the need for resources of energy 93.3
6 Lack of an educational, research, and development (ERD) system is a significant barrier for development of this new technology 93.3
7 Lack of awareness of consumers and manufacturers about the features of transgenic technology is an obstacle for its development 93.3
8 Lack of educators and knowledgeable specialists in development of transgenic plants is one of the main challenges in this area 93.3
9 Lack of an enabling environment for private sector’s activity has led to slow growth and development of transgenic products in agricultural sector 93.3
10 Lack of accurate statistical information on transgenic plants has prevented the growth of this area 93.3
11 Non-certification of the use of transgenic products by recognized scientific and research authorities is one of the weaknesses in their application 93.3
12 There is no consensus among experts on the usage of transgenic products 90
13 Managerial systems, regulatory agencies, and controllers of transgenic plant production are faced with major problems in Iran 90
14 Resistance of politicians in some countries (like Iran) has limited the spread of transgenic plants 90
15 Lack of consensus on potential risks of transgenic plants has prevented the massive production of these products 90
16 Administrative bureaucracy is one of the main problems of transgenic plants’ development 86.6
17 The process of generating knowledge and technology on transgenic plants in Iran is very slow 83.3
18 The risky dimensions of transgenic plants are certainly not proven and these negative impacts should not be ignored 66.6
19 The country’s inappropriate customs rules are of main barriers for development of this new technology 63.3
20 Resistance of consumers has prevented the spread of transgenic plants in some countries (including Iran) 63.3
21 Transgenic plants produce damage to other species (non-target species) 36.7
22 The use of transgenic plants may lead to resistance to antibiotics 30
23 Production of transgenic plants destroys valuable resources and resists pests 30
24 The use of transgenic plants can create risks for human reproduction and fertility 23.3
25 The use of transgenic plants may cause tumors (cancer) and allergies in individuals 10