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Consumer Reactions to Products of New Animal Technologies

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  1. Consumer Reactions to Products of New Animal Technologies Presentation to: Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) November 29, 2007 Michael Fernandez

  2. Outline • Background/Context • Animal Cloning • Transgenic Animals (“genetically modified”) • Ethics

  3. Background • Data from a series of polls prepared for the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology by the Mellman Group and Public Opinion Strategies, 2001 - 2006 • 1,000 individuals • Margin of error +/- 3.1 percent at 95 percent confidence level • Other consumer surveys cover some of the same areas (e.g., International Food Information Council) • For complete survey results and additional information on issues relating to animal biotechnology see www.pewagbiotech.org

  4. Consumer Familiarity with GM Foods Was Highest in 2001 How much have you seen, read or heard recently about genetically modified food that is sold in grocery stores?

  5. Support For Genetically Modified Foods Has Been Stable, While Opposition Has Declined Favor/Oppose the Introduction of GMF to food supply

  6. Few Americans Believe They Have Or Are Likely To Eat GM Foods How likely are you to eat GM foods? As far as you know, have you eaten GM foods?

  7. Women Are Particularly Wary of Eating GM Foods Likelihood to Eat GM Food by Gender

  8. Americans Split Over The Safety Of GM Foods, Though Many Are Still Undecided Initial Ask: Are GM foods basically safe or unsafe? *Informed Ask: Now, as you may know, more than half of processed products at the grocery store are produced using some form of biotechnology or genetic modification. Knowing this, are GM foods basically safe or unsafe? *The term “processed”, referring to products, was introduced to the survey in 2005.

  9. Outline • Background/Context • Animal Cloning • Transgenic Animals (“genetically modified”) • Ethics

  10. The Public Claims To Have A Higher Level Of Awareness Of “Animal Cloning” Than Of “Genetic Modifications” Amount Heard About GM Foods, GM Animals, And Animal Cloning (2005) GM Foods GM Animals Animal Cloning 8% great deal 27% nothing at all 6% great deal 32% nothing at all 16% great deal 9% nothing at all

  11. Awareness And Knowledge of Animal Cloning Has Declined Over The Past Year Knowledge Of Animal Cloning Heard About Animal Cloning

  12. Consumers Do Not Favor Genetic Modification Of Plants Or Animals, And Are Particularly Uncomfortable With Cloning (2005) Comfort Level Support/Oppose GM Foods GM Animals Animal Cloning 8% strongly 33% strongly 11% strongly 37% strongly 10% strongly 48% strongly

  13. Safety Concerns Are Much Higher When It Comes To Clones Safety Of GM Foods And Animal Clones (2005) Animal Clones GM Foods 12% strongly 18% strongly 10% strongly 28% strongly

  14. Men Are More Comfortable With Animal Cloning And Are More Likely To Believe That Foods Produced By Cloned Animals Are Safe (2005) Comfort With Animal Cloning by Gender Safety Of Animal Cloning by Gender Men Women Men Women

  15. Those Responsible For Purchasing Food Are More Likely To Be Uncomfortable With Animal Cloning And Believe It Is Unsafe (2005) Comfort With Animal Cloning by Food Purchase Responsibility Safety Of Animal Cloning by Food Purchase Responsibility Complete Partly None Complete Partly None

  16. Religion And Ethics Tops The List Of Concerns Among Those Who Are Uncomfortable With Cloning (2005) % most important concern about animal cloning Religious or ethical concerns Concerns about safety Personally uncomfortable with it The effect on animal species Fear of risks Distrust producers of clones Other No opinion

  17. Those Who Favor Animal Cloning Cite Their Support For Scientific Advancement, And Lowering The Price Of Food (2005) % most important benefit about animal cloning Support scientific advancement Lower the price of food Develop new medical treatments Help small farmers Protect endangered plants and animals To improve veterinary care Other No opinion

  18. Outline • Background/Context • Animal Cloning • Transgenic Animals (“genetically modified”) • Ethics

  19. The Public Claims To Have A Higher Level Of Awareness Of “Animal Cloning” Than Of “Genetic Modifications” Amount Heard About GM Foods, GM Animals, Importation Of GM Foods, And Animal Cloning (2005) GM Foods GM Animals Animal Cloning 8% great deal 27% nothing at all 6% great deal 32% nothing at all 16% great deal 9% nothing at all

  20. While Majorities Of Both Sexes Oppose Genetic Modification Of Animals, Men Are More Likely Than Women To Favor Research Favor/Oppose Transgenic Animals by Gender (2005) Total Men Women

  21. Knowledge Increases SupportOpposition Is Shared By All Levels Of Awareness (2005) Favor/Oppose Transgenic Animals by Amount Heard About Transgenic Animals Total Great Deal Some Not Too Much

  22. Developing Heartier Livestock Are The Most Widely Supported Reasons To Genetically Modify AnimalsHeadlines On Avian Flu May Have Pushed It To The Top Of The List (2005) % very good reason to genetically modify animals To produce chickens resistant to avian flu To develop cattle resistant to mad cow disease To expand our understanding of science and nature To provide organs for transplant to humans To produce beef with less fat that is healthier To breed livestock which produces waste that is less polluting To produce more affordable pharmaceutical drugs by using animals to produce compounds To make it possible to transplant animal organs to humans To reduce the cost of fish, like salmon To breed novelty pets

  23. Consumers Believe Their Interests Should Be Balanced With Those Of Producers, And That Includes Requiring Government Approval To Sell Food Derived From GM Animals (2005) % strongly favor proposal to regulate GM animals The interests of consumers and food producers must be balanced Foods from GM animals should require govt approval, even if it causes substantial delays Foods derived from GM animals should be sold only after govt determined they are safe Sold with same regulations as other products Allow foods from GM animals to be sold, and removed from market if found unsafe Should not be sold under any circumstances Foods from GM animals should be prohibited from being sold, even if govt believes it is safe Foods from GM animals should be sold w/out govt review, as long as developer believes safe

  24. Outline • Background/Context • Animal Cloning • Transgenic Animals (“genetically modified”) • Ethics

  25. Religion And Ethics Tops The List Of Concerns Among Those Who Are Uncomfortable With Cloning (2005) % most important concern about animal cloning Religious or ethical concerns Concerns about safety Personally uncomfortable with it The effect on animal species Fear of risks Distrust producers of clones Other No opinion

  26. Americans Strongly Favor Incorporating Moral And Ethical Considerations When Regulating Cloning (2005) Which of the following statements comes closer to point of view? Government regulators should include ethical and moral considerations, in addition to scientific evaluation of risks and benefits, when making regulatory decisions about cloning or genetically modifying animals. Though ethical and moral considerations are important, government regulators should consider only scientific evaluation of risks and benefits when making regulatory decisions about cloning and genetically modifying animals. 53% strongly +36 18% strongly (darker shading=stronger intensity)

  27. There Is No Overt Gender Gap In Attitudes Towards Regulation Of Genetic Modification Or Cloning (2005) Ethical/Scientific Standards by Gender Total Men Women

  28. Even Those Who Do Not Attend Church Believe Morals And Ethics Should Be Included In Government Decisions About Cloning (2005) Ethical/Scientific Standards by Religious Attendance Once/week or more 2-3 times/ month Once/month Few/year or less