GMOs: Politicians deaf to people’s ethical concerns, says researcher

A new study indicates that politicians completely ignore their constituents’ concerns about GMOs.  Chances are if a replication study was conducted in the U.S. the same results would hold.

misc-obama-gmo-michael taylor


Politicians are deaf to people’s ethical concerns

A new study reports that political discussions about genetically modified foods have ignored concerns among Danes that GM foods are ‘unnatural’.

While a many Danes question whether genetically modified foods are unnatural, this concern is much less apparent among politicians, according to Professor Jesper Lassen at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food and Resource Economics. Lassen has investigated Danish attitudes about genetically modified foods since the early 90’s.

His most recent research has demonstrated that there is little or no correlation between the general public’s reservations about genetically modified foods and what Danish politicians bring up for parliamentary debate.

“There is an obvious disconnect between public concerns and how politicians debate genetically modified foods. There are numerous indications that elected officials live in a political bubble, where certain types of risk v. benefit arguments are important, while arguments about naturalness, for example, which are of important for the population, are never advanced.”

-Professor Jesper Lassen, University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food and Resource Economics


Journal Reference:  Jesper Lassen. Listened to, but not heard! The failure to represent the public in genetically modified food policies. Public Understanding of Science, 2018; 096366251876628 DOI: 10.1177/0963662518766286