Public opinion on gene editing

P. Thomas,  The Ecologist,  2020.

What does the public think of genetic engineering in food and farming? Is there more acceptance, or less, these days? Have the issues changed over time, or is it just more of the same? How well informed do you believe you are?

Beyond GM like you to participate in our survey to help us find out.

While many people could be forgiven for thinking the issue of GMOs has gone away, the last few years have been a period of rapid developments in terms of new genetic engineering techniques.

Terms such as gene editing, genome editing, bioengineering, synthetic biology (‘synbio’), precision fermentation and gene drives as well as new umbrella terms like New Breeding Techniques (NBTs) and New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) – each with slightly different meanings – have replaced the more familiar catch all of ‘GMOs’.

There has also been a clear move by industry and by some governments to distance these new technologies – the most well know of which is CRISPR – entirely from older style genetic engineering technologies. Biotech companies have been repositioning these new techniques as ‘close to nature’ and even lobbying for them to be unregulated.


More related to this:

Sterile Insect Techniques, GE mosquitoes and gene drives

Agricultural pest control with CRISPR-based gene drive: time for public debate: Should we use gene drive for pest control?

What risk assessments of genetically modified organisms can learn from institutional analyses of public health risks

Public engagement pathways for emerging GM insect technologies

Knowledge engagement in gene drive research for malaria control