In New Zealand, dramatic public shift in favor of GMOs

| | December 9, 2015
Wellington Market New Zealand Dec Flickr PhillipC
Wellington Market, New Zealand
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From 2001 to 2014 there has been a big shift to acceptance of genetic modification, from 92% opposed to genetic engineering (GE) to 80 percent accepting it.

Prof. Jean Fleming,[1] presented at the recent Science Communicator’s Association of New Zealand annual conference some results from Katherine Hope’s 2014 Masters thesis, which covered a survey of New Zealander’s responses to genetic engineering.

It’s good to see some numbers put to this. The shift observed is quite substantial.

Jean Fleming suggested that this indicated the value of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification (of which she was a member of), initiating a shift in understanding over time.

In addition to this, my thoughts are that the shift may reflect a better appreciation over time that there are few food safety concerns, and that little of concern has occurred over the decade-plus between these surveys.

Towards the end of the abstract, it notes that some people still have concerns about large corporations,

the main concern New Zealanders have about GE is large corporations, like Monsanto, controlling the scientists and their products

A suggestion: if large corporations are a concern, support the small players.

Newer techniques can enable smaller groups to tackle goals that once were limited to very large organisations. Many of these new plant varieties are being developed by relatively small research teams.

Read full, original post: Genetic modification now accepted by most New Zealanders

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