Biotech Updates

Ethical Perception of Cross-species Gene Transfer

October 28, 2011

Scientists from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia conducted a survey to examine how the public in the Klang Valley, Malaysia, perceive cross-species gene transfer such as the development of GM rice with a gene from mice to improve its vitamin C content. A total of 434 respondents were classified according to stakeholders groups.

Results showed that most of the respondents were not very familiar to GM rice and they perceive it as having moderate risk. Analysis showed that the five ethical dimensions (familiarity, denying benefits, ethical acceptance, and perceived risks) significantly differed across stakeholders' groups while the first three dimensions also differed across races. Only the factor of familiarity differed across the ages, while no difference was found across educational level and gender.

The researchers concluded that the public in Klang Valley are not yet ready to accept the vitamin C enriched GM rice. These findings can be used to understand the social construct of the ethical acceptance of cross-species gene transfers in a developing country.

Read the research paper at