‘Mom scientist’ won most credibility points from skeptical GMO consumers

Trying to win an argument based on science may be a losing game plan for gaining consumer trust in bioengineered ingredients/genetically modified organisms (GMO), said Roxi Beck, a spokesperson for the Center for Food Integrity, during a recent webinar.

Instead, GMO proponents should listen and engage with consumers before providing information, she said. Understand why consumers are asking questions. Know the difference between “can” and “should.” Science is “can” something be done while ethical is “should” something be done, she said.
“Society is questioning whether we should,” Beck said.

GMO proponents finding shared values with consumers may lead to a “handshake” to introduce technical expertise, she said.

The Center for Food Integrity, a not-for-profit organization with members that represent every segment of the food system, conducted a survey to identify what groups of people may be best for sharing GMO technical expertise. The organization considered “mom scientists,” peers and government scientists.

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The mom scientist rated the highest in credibility among consumers before technical information was given. Her image was a “bit tarnished” during the technical presentation as people were not sure they wanted to hear her positive GMO messages, Beck said. The mom scientist still scored the highest after the technical presentation.

Read full, original article: GMO communication plan: Listen, engage, inform

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