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Table 4 Categorization of the opportunities and challenges of agricultural transgenic products

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

Opportunities Concepts
Food security (availability, quality, and safety) Population growth and nutritional needs of human beings reflect the necessity of producing transgenic plants
Transgenic technology is in progress and provides new opportunities for agricultural production
Increasing agricultural production, boosting economic profits, and eliminating poverty are among the benefits of transgenic plants
Transgenic foods are healthy and like ordinary foods are considered safe to eat
Transgenic products have higher nutritional value than other plants
Biosafety The technology of transgenic plants supports sustainable agriculture development goals
Like natural herbs, transgenic plants completely decompose and return to nature
Transgenic plants reduce the use of pesticides and thus contribute to protection of environment
Having natural and beneficial genes is the main distinction between transgenic plants and other plants
Production of transgenic plants boosts resistance to pests and diseases
Transgenic plants reduce the negative environmental impacts of agricultural activities
Cultivation of transgenic plants minimizes pesticide residues in food products and environment
Transgenic plants help control weeds
Cultivation of transgenic plants can lead to soil protection
Challenges Concepts
Structural–managerial Production of transgenic plants in Iran is unnecessary and traditional breeding methods can meet future food needs
Due to political issues and deficiencies in planning, the production of transgenic plants has faced with some problems
Little attention of authorities to production of transgenic plants reduces the rate of productivity and increases the need for resources of energy
Lack of an enabling environment for private sector’s activity has led to slow growth and development of transgenic products in agricultural sector
Managerial systems, regulatory agencies, and controllers of transgenic plant production are faced with major problems in Iran
Resistance of politicians in some countries (like Iran) has limited the spread of transgenic plants
Administrative bureaucracy is one of the main problems of transgenic plants’ development
Educational Lack of an educational, research, and development (ERD) system is a significant barrier for development of this new technology
Lack of educators and knowledgeable specialists in development of transgenic plants is one of the main challenges in this area
Non-certification of the use of transgenic products by recognized scientific and research authorities is one of the weaknesses in their application
There is no consensus among experts on the usage of transgenic products
Lack of consensus on potential risks of transgenic plants has prevented the massive production of these products
The process of generating knowledge and technology on transgenic plants in Iran is very slow
Cognitive Lack of familiarity with methods, goals, and results of genetic engineering causes people to be concerned about the acceptance of transgenic plants
Lack of awareness of consumers and manufacturers about the features of transgenic technology is an obstacle for its development
Informational Inconspicuous role of the mass media in introducing the achievements of transgenic technology has led to backwardness of this technology
Lack of accurate statistical information on transgenic plants has prevented the growth of this area