Want consumers to embrace CRISPR? Don’t call it a gene-editing ‘revolution,’ explain its agricultural benefits

| | January 9, 2020
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

How can you talk to consumers about gene editing when most have little understanding of how plants are bred?

The Coalition for Responsible Gene Editing in Agriculture, formed by the Center for Food Integrity in 2016 as a partnership of stakeholders who share a vision of global acceptance for the responsible use of gene editing in agriculture and food, understands that building trust in gene editing is essential so that the food system has the social license to use the technology in a responsible matter.

The Coalition analyzed consumer research about communicating about biotechnology and they discovered that some methods of communicating are more effective than others.

Related article:  Cloning tool spots 'foreign DNA,' minimizes off-target changes with CRISPR gene editing

The public is more supportive when gene editing is described within the context of plant and animal genetic improvement, which has a legacy of safe, responsible use spanning several generations. Rather than being a revolutionary technique, consumers are more comfortable when gene editing is approached as an evolution of the next iteration of improvement.

It’s also helpful to identify the way gene editing can benefit consumers directly while aligning with public desires. The top three gene editing benefits that consumers care about most are the environment, disease resistance and animal wellbeing.

Read full, original article: Gene Editing: It’s an Evolution, not a Revolution

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