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Public Acceptance of Plant Biotechnology and GM Crops

Scienceindustries, Swiss Business Association Chemistry Pharma Biotech, P.O. Box 1826, Zurich CH-8021, Switzerland
Academic Editor: Thomas Hohn
Viruses 2015, 7(8), 4254-4281;
Received: 30 May 2015 / Revised: 21 July 2015 / Accepted: 22 July 2015 / Published: 30 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Technology and Resistance to Viruses - Reviews)
PDF [179 KB, uploaded 30 July 2015]


A wide gap exists between the rapid acceptance of genetically modified (GM) crops for cultivation by farmers in many countries and in the global markets for food and feed, and the often-limited acceptance by consumers. This review contrasts the advances of practical applications of agricultural biotechnology with the divergent paths—also affecting the development of virus resistant transgenic crops—of political and regulatory frameworks for GM crops and food in different parts of the world. These have also shaped the different opinions of consumers. Important factors influencing consumer’s attitudes are the perception of risks and benefits, knowledge and trust, and personal values. Recent political and societal developments show a hardening of the negative environment for agricultural biotechnology in Europe, a growing discussion—including calls for labeling of GM food—in the USA, and a careful development in China towards a possible authorization of GM rice that takes the societal discussions into account. New breeding techniques address some consumers’ concerns with transgenic crops, but it is not clear yet how consumers’ attitudes towards them will develop. Discussions about agriculture would be more productive, if they would focus less on technologies, but on common aims and underlying values. View Full-Text
Keywords: farmers; consumers; risk/benefit perception; knowledge; trust; personal attitudes; politics; GMO labeling; new breeding techniques farmers; consumers; risk/benefit perception; knowledge; trust; personal attitudes; politics; GMO labeling; new breeding techniques
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lucht, J.M. Public Acceptance of Plant Biotechnology and GM Crops. Viruses 2015, 7, 4254-4281.

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