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Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR is Perceived Similarly as GMOs in Five Countries

November 14, 2018
CRISPR differs from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by specifically producing modifications in a genome of a species without transferring a trait from another organism. Thus, the scientific community distinguishes its promising role in food security and agriculture as a new breeding technology. Given the history of struggle of GMOs in reaching commercialization, evaluating the public acceptance and valuation of CRISPR-produced food is of much importance. 

Researcher Aaron Shew from University of Arkansas and colleagues assess consumers' willingness-to-consume (WTC) and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for CRISPR-produced food compared to conventional and genetically modified (GM) food. Results showed that 56% (USA), 47% (Canada), 46% (Belgium), 30% (France), and 51% (Australia) of respondents said that they would consume both GM and CRISPR food. They also found that CRISPR-produced food may be criticized the same as GMOs by the public, with familiarity with biotechnology and perceptions of safety as the primary drivers for WTC CRISPR and GM food. Finally, the researchers found that it would take large discounts in CRISPR-produced food for consumers to buy them.

For more information, read the article in Global Food Security.