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Journal Articles Public Understanding of Science Year : 2020

Lay and scientific categorizations of new breeding techniques: Implications for food policy and genetically modified organism legislation

Abstract

The rapid development of new genetic breeding techniques is accompanied by a polarized debate around their risks. Research on the public perception of these techniques lags behind scientific developments. This study tests a method for revealing laypeople’s perceptions and attitudes about different genetic techniques. The objectives are to enable laypeople to understand the key principles of new genetic breeding techniques and to permit a comparison of their modes of classification with those of scientific experts. The combined method of a free sorting task and focus groups showed that the participants distinguished the techniques that did not induce any change in DNA sequence, and applied two different logics to classify the other breeding techniques: a Cartesian logic and a naturalistic logic with a distinct set of values. The lay categorization differed substantially from current scientific categorizations of genetic breeding techniques. These findings have implications for food innovation policy and genetically modified organism legislation.
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hal-02913593 , version 1 (10-08-2020)

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Gervaise Debucquet, Régis Baron, Mireille Cardinal. Lay and scientific categorizations of new breeding techniques: Implications for food policy and genetically modified organism legislation. Public Understanding of Science, 2020, 29 (5), pp.524-543. ⟨10.1177/0963662520929668⟩. ⟨hal-02913593⟩
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