If you want consumers to embrace biotech, take their concerns about GMOs seriously, plant scientist says

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As people become more conscious about the food they put on the table, farmers are having to deal with a number of new consumer concerns.

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Image Credit: Paul Vincelli

One of the most pervasive of those concerns is the debate over genetically modified food or GMOs. Genetic engineering is just a more efficient way of developing better food, which is really no different than accepted conventional breeding, according to Dr. Paul Vincelli, a University of Kentucky Extension professor who spoke during Delaware’s annual Ag Week.

Vincelli, who spoke on Jan. 15, said that GMOs or genetic engineering are just a more precise and faster way of doing what nature has always done. “DNA change is quite normal and desirable,” he said. “Genetic change comes about in all kinds of ways.”

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Still, he acknowledged that people have real concerns over the process, concerns which should be listened to and taken seriously. “It seems mysterious and people are afraid of it,” he said.

Much of Vincelli’s talk focused on ways to discuss the GMO issue and calm some of those consumer fears and concerns….

He said people should be respectful, ask critics about their concerns, listen to them and allow them to speak first. “Then, they feel heard,” he said. “Don’t bombard them with everything you know. What they really want to know is: can they trust you?”

Read full, original article: GMO Discussion Tips Given at Delaware Ag Week

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