Professor David Peters and graduate student Sonja Lindberg recently published a paper titled, “Gene Edited Food Adoption Intentions and Institutional Trust in the United States: Benefits, Acceptance, and Labeling,” in the journal Rural Sociology. Following is a brief description of the study.
We find that adoption hinges on public trust in institutions overseeing gene edited food (GEF) development, especially trust in university scientists. The 29 percent of Americans likely to adopt GEFs highly trust government food regulators and the biotech industry. A nearly equal number of likely non-adopters distrust current regulatory systems in favor of consumer and environmental advocacy groups. However, most Americans (41 percent) are uncertain about GEF adoption and whom to trust. Although 75 percent of Americans want GEFs labeled, few trust government agencies who have authority to issue labels. Our findings suggest public trust in GEFs and labels can only be obtained by tripartite oversight by universities, advocacy groups, and government food regulators.