Starting the conversation… genes in agriculture

The Center for Food Integrity released an issue on gene editing and how to engage in the conversation about gene editing to consumers. Throughout there were interesting statistics such as the opening statistic of 2 out of 3 consumers want to know more about how food is produced and who’s producing it and more than half of consumers want to know more about gene-editing technology. Out of half of those consumers, 1/3rd have a limited understanding of genes and food. For example, 32% of consumers think vegetables do not have DNA but 2/3rd of consumers think gene editing in humans is okay. This makes it the perfect place to enter the conversation about the world of genetics and agriculture. By being able to connect the population’s understanding of gene editing to agriculture makes the topic more understandable. The journal goes on to give more steps and tips about informing the public about gene editing in agriculture. For example, one should talk about evolution not the revolution of genes; this could also link to another talking point about yield improvements. Many consumers want more environmentally friendly agriculture, by linking gene use to agriculture this educates consumers on the environmental benefits of genetically modified organisms. The most important thing to remember when talking to consumers about genes in agriculture is values are 3-5 times more important than facts. Connect consumers to agriculture by explaining how agriculture is, in fact, meeting consumer values.

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