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USDA funds research on public engagement with gene editing in agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded approximately $2 million to pursue research on stakeholder and public engagement on new plant breeding innovation techniques, such as gene-editing, intended for use in agricultural production.

“Recent advances in gene editing technologies promise opportunities for meeting challenges that come with a rapidly growing global population,” said Tom Shanower, NIFA acting director. “However, these advances also raise important questions about their acceptability and potential unintended impacts, so NIFA created the Social Implications of Emerging Technologies program in 2017 to fund research on stakeholder and public engagement with gene drive and other gene editing techniques for agricultural use.”

One of the research projects, totaling $466,202, was awarded to the University of Florida to define consumer preferences for regulation and consumption of food derived from gene-edited crops and determine the most effective way to communicate with the public and change consumer attitudes about the use of gene-editing technology. Meanwhile, researchers at Iowa State University were given $494,513 to identify key inducements and impediments to public trust of gene-edited foods and their governance.

Read full, original post: USDA invests in research on the implications of gene editing technology

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