Biotech Updates

Study Examines Personal Constructs and Social Discourses on GMOs

March 6, 2019

SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center's (SEARCA BIC) fifth policy brief, which is based on a study authored by Dr. Maria Monina Cecilia A. Villena, Program Head of SEARCA's Knowledge Management Department, explores how the public makes sense of message frames (i.e., key messages or story lines grouped together in support of a particular message) used by the government when disseminating information about genetic modification or biotechnology. It also explores how farmer leaders and traders understand the scientific information about genetically modified (GM) crops, and how they use message frames to enable them to participate in social discourses on crop biotechnology.

Results of the study suggest that although biotechnology adoption is considered a significant component in promoting agricultural development in the Philippines, there are still communication gaps that can be addressed through the different communication channels involved in numerous advocacy efforts. Accordingly, future science communication efforts need to be based on a clear and precise understanding of the audience's values, knowledge, and attitudes in relation to their respective interpersonal and social contexts. Dr. Villena concluded that it is also essential for the general public to develop a solid foundation for the understanding and appreciation of science. 

The 2018 Policy Brief series is produced in partnership with the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), Coalition for Agriculture Modernization in the Philippines (CAMP), Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Program Office (DA-BPO), Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS), and DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR). 

For more details, read the full policy brief.