Gene editing coalition works to increase consumer understanding, acceptance

A coalition of ag and food industry leaders is working to ensure that “gene editing” does not suffer the same consumer perception challenges as “genetic modification” has faced.

Jana McGuire with the Center for Food Integrity says they’re working to help consumers understand what gene editing is and what it can do.

“That’s one of the reasons we started the coalition, to help communicating with the public about the technologies right off the bat,” McGuire says. “So they understand the promise of gene editing—and to make those connections with people so they have a good understanding as the technology is introduced.”

McGuire says their consumer research shows while people don’t understand what gene editing is, they are open to learning more about it.

“So that’s a golden opportunity for people in the food and ag space to get out there and talk about gene editing right now, and help make those connections,” she says.

The Coalition for Responsible Gene Editing in Agriculture includes academics, farmers, ag and food company leaders, and scientists.

Brownfield spoke with McGuire at the annual meeting of AFAN and WSA in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she was the keynote speaker.

AUDIO: Jana McGuire

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