Public concerns towards modern biotechnology, particularly GM foods, are not driven solely by concerns about the technology, but are strongly influenced by cultural differences. Much has been made of the contrasts between European and American acceptance of GM foods. Scientists and industry have advocated increased acceptance through public ‘education’. However, this approach is not fully effective because it does not acknowledge that many attitudes are based on cultural traditions which drive acceptance of new technologies. Further, decisions about acceptance of biotechnology applications are underpinned by personal and cultural ethics, which need to be understood to effectively address attitude change. Information and education on GM technology alone does not, therefore, address attitude formation fully.

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Public concerns towards gm foods are not driven solely by concerns about the technology, but more strongly by cultural differences

Janine Young   Biotechnology Australia

Craig Cormick   Biotechnology Australia

Public concerns towards modern biotechnology, particularly GM foods, are not driven solely by concerns about the technology, but are strongly influenced by cultural differences. Much has been made of the contrasts between European and American acceptance of GM foods. Scientists and industry have advocated increased acceptance through public ‘education’. However, this approach is not fully effective because it does not acknowledge that many attitudes are based on cultural traditions which drive acceptance of new technologies. Further, decisions about acceptance of biotechnology applications are underpinned by personal and cultural ethics, which need to be understood to effectively address attitude change. Information and education on GM technology alone does not, therefore, address attitude formation fully.

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