Biotech – Public Acceptance: Benefits and Risks

May 16 2006

Public perception and therefore support/rejection of biotechnology is one of the very important subjects discussed during Bio 2006 Meeting in Chicago (April 8 ~ 12, 2006), especially related to food.

Among many reports summaries based on public surveys were presented by both side of the Atlantic Ocean: Danish Center for Bioethics and Risk Assessment and International Food Information Council.

Several factors appear to play important roles among consumers: (1) Objects of GM Treatments, including treatment of animals, (2) Quality and Safety of Food, (3) Origin of Genetic Materials, (4) Benefits to Environment, (5) Production Efficiency.

Among the producers of food materials, farmers, ranchers, etc., Tangible Benefits of GM treatments are of the most concern, namely production efficiency and new value created. From this aspect, breed certification and traceability of transgenic cows and pigs may likely to create new marketing value to producers, rather than the current impression, source of liability.

As seen here, a wide gap of acceptance judgments exists between industry and consumers. Well-balanced information about benefits and risks of biotechnology are essential for consumers’ digestion, as the Danish publication states.

Category: Open to Debate
Filed under: Food/Nutrition, Ethics, Animals