Europe’s rejection of GMO, CRISPR crops can teach scientists how to earn consumer trust

greenpeace europe
Credit: Greenpeace

European regulators and consumers have been steadfast in their rejection of genetic modification in food. The idea of ‘Frankenfood’ has been a potent symbol of the bloc’s resistance to scientists ‘meddling’ in food production. But are there any lessons for the scientific community working to develop a sustainable future for food?

According to David Green, director of farming group the US Sustainability Alliance, the region’s attitudes to GMOs are shaped by the time in which they were formed.

“That rejection of technology occurred… because it was poorly introduced to an unsuspecting consumer base,”​ he said …. at the Food Matters Summit in London. “In the mid-1990s there were food scares, mad cow disease in beef… people were concerned about what is happening: what are they doing to our food?”​

Related article:  Viewpoint: Developing countries begin rejecting anti-GMO 'fearmongering' to reap benefits of biofortified crops

To Green, the divergent reactions in Europe and the US illustrate the importance of context. “GMO technology came along right at that time in Europe. In the US it was not an issue.”​

So, Green noted, if external factors and the cultural context in which new scientific developments are introduced plays a role in acceptance, it becomes important to ask: “How do we bring society along? ….”​

Read full, original article: From lab meat to vertical farming: How Europe’s rejection of GMOs can help science in food

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend