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SCC2011 - Engaging the public with issues involving GM

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SCC2011 - Engaging the public with issues involving GM

  1. 1. Science Communication Conference 2011<br />
  2. 2. No but yeah but no but...lessons from the history of public dialogue on GM crops<br />
  3. 3. Public dialogue on GM<br />
  4. 4. Public dialogue on GM<br /><ul><li>UK National Consensus Conference on Plant Biotechnology, 1994
  5. 5. Citizen Foresight on the Future of Food and Agriculture (Citizen GMO UK), 1998
  6. 6. Bioremediation technologies dialogue, 2001
  7. 7. BBSRC public communications activities, 1995 - 2002
  8. 8. GM Nation?, 2002 – 2004
  9. 9. FSA GM Food Debate, 2003
  10. 10. Industrial biotechnology dialogue, 2008 - 2009
  11. 11. Future Foods, 2009
  12. 12. RAEng Public dialogue on synthetic biology, 2009
  13. 13. EPSRC / BBSRC Synthetic biology dialogue, 2009</li></li></ul><li>Yes, but...and no, but...<br />
  14. 14. 1. Safety<br />
  15. 15. 2. Novelty and labelling<br />
  16. 16. 3. Sustainability, uncertainty and ignorance<br />
  17. 17. 4. Developing country agriculture<br />
  18. 18. 5. Intellectual property<br />
  19. 19. 6. Governance and regulation<br />
  20. 20. Who’s listening?<br />
  21. 21. Public dialogue How? Why? What?<br />
  22. 22.
  23. 23. “Stakeholders and members of the public need to be engaged in dialogue about new research and technology options. <br /> This dialogue should start with the problem that needs to be addressed, i.e. food security, rather than presupposing any particular solutions.”<br />
  24. 24. GM in the 21st century agriculture ?<br />David Baulcombe <br />Cambridge University – Deepartment of Plant Sciences <br />Growing concern – engaging the public with issues involving GM crops <br />British Science Association <br />May 26th 2011<br />Thursday, May 26, 2011<br />16<br />
  25. 25. Reaping the benefits<br />Science and the sustainable intensification of global agriculture<br />
  26. 26. unlocking the unrealised potential in plant genomes<br /><ul><li>Harnessing heterosis and transgressive phenotypes</li></li></ul><li>next generation DNA sequencing, computer modelling, powerful imaging technologies are revolutionary inovations<br />De novo sequencing of crop and crop pathogen genomes <br />Sequencing of varieties and related species <br />Expression profiling <br />Characterisation of non coding RNAs and epigenetic modifications <br />Thursday, May 26, 2011<br />19<br />
  27. 27. GM for disease resistance ?<br />isolated genes can be used in genetic manipulation – transfer of plant genes between plants <br />Thursday, May 26, 2011<br />20<br />Gene RB cloned from Solanum bulbocastanum confers broad spectrum resistance to potato late blight<br />Junqi Song*†, James M. Bradeen†‡, S. Kristine Naess‡, John A. Raasch§, Susan M. Wielgus*‡, Geraldine T. Haberlach‡,<br />Jia Liu¶, Hanhui Kuang, Sandra Austin-Phillips§, C. Robin Buell¶, John P. Helgeson‡**, and Jiming Jiang*,**<br />www.pnas.orgcgidoi10.1073pnas.1533501100<br />
  28. 28. GM vs conventional breeding for simple traits<br />retaining the characteristics of original variety<br />to generate several new varieties at once <br />26 May 2011<br />21<br />
  29. 29. GM for drought tolerance, water use efficiency, heat stress tolerance, mineral nutrient uptake – complex traits? <br />genome analysis to identify relevant genes<br />GM to transfer into varieties for improvement<br />26 May 2011<br />22<br />
  30. 30. GM vs conventional breeding for complex traits<br />both depend on genome analysis for identification of genes <br />GM allows retention of the characteristics of the original variety<br />both are long term exercises but GM may be more straightforward <br />26 May 2011<br />23<br />
  31. 31. long term grand challenges for plant science ?<br /><ul><li>Increasing the efficiency of photosynthesis??
  32. 32. N2 fixing cereals ??
  33. 33. exploiting non host resistance to get broad spectrum and durable protection against disease ???
  34. 34. Unlocking the potential of the genome
  35. 35. crops are derived from wild plants that evolved to reproduce rather than to yield
  36. 36. robust complex systems do not operate flat out – they are buffered from perturbation by spare capacity and negative feedback systems </li></ul>photosynthesis <br />www.helpsavetheclimate.com/chloroplast1.gif<br />
  37. 37. scientific grand challenges in crop production<br />enhanced photosynthesis <br />perennial crops so that soil erosion prevented, better retention and uptake of water and nutrients from the soil, no need to rebuild root system each year <br />nitrogen fixation<br />vegetative seed production (ie seed produced without pollination)<br />harnessing of hybrid vigour<br />new species as crops<br />Thursday, May 26, 2011<br />25<br />
  38. 38. gene flow<br />transgenes are no more likely to outcross than endogenous genes conferring a similar trait<br />gene flow does occur<br />gene flow with transgenic crops should be managed as it is with conventional crops<br />food crops with genes that could confer damage to the environment, people or animals should not be released <br />
  39. 39. environmental effects of GM<br />http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/fieldcropsipm/images/volcornON3-copy.jpg<br /><ul><li> science-based management is required for maximal benefit of GM crops</li></li></ul><li>intellectual property<br /><ul><li>the biomedical model involving patenting is not appropriate for agriculture and crops
  40. 40. restrictive of saved seed
  41. 41. restrictive of shared germplasm in different breeding programmes
  42. 42. restrictive of farmer practise
  43. 43. discourages innovation by small enterprises and favours market dominance by large companies
  44. 44. unnecessary because commercial returns may not justify investment</li></li></ul><li>feeding the world with with or without GM ??<br />26 May 2011<br />29<br />www.jic.ac.uk/centenary/key-scientists/biffen.htm<br />
  45. 45. Science Communication Conference 2011<br />
  46. 46. PASSIONATE ABOUT SCIENCEthe challenge for policymakers<br />Andrew Wadge<br />Food Standards Agency<br />British Science Association26 May 2011<br />
  47. 47.  <br />How and why is GM different to other issues related to food safety and food production?<br />Is it actually different to other issues?<br />Evidence-based policies for a values-based public?<br />GM food<br />
  48. 48. Attitudes to innovation in food production<br />2009 review of published studies on attitudes to a range of new and emerging technologies:<br />Our specific research projects have examined attitudes to: <br />
  49. 49. Typical responses to innovation<br />is it safe?<br />what’s in it for me?<br />what’s in it for “them”?<br />will it harm the environment?<br />what about the welfare of animals?<br />is it natural?<br />March 2009 “An Evidence Review of Public Attitudes to Emerging Food Technologies”<br />
  50. 50. Attitudes to GM food <br />findings included:<br /><ul><li>53% are undecided when asked “Do risks outweigh the benefits?”
  51. 51. some are disinterested but others want information to help them decide
  52. 52. Limited understanding of complex science means people make judgements based on their values
  53. 53. “emotional” responses?
  54. 54. the public intuitively expect more / different safety studies than do risk assessors
  55. 55. e.g. clinical trials & long-term feeding studies</li></ul>(British Social Attitudes Survey 2008-9)<br />
  56. 56. Can science provide a better answer?<br />risk assessment<br />more rigour in risk assessment<br />more openness<br />more independence<br />more consultation<br />better explanation, to a wider audience<br />general information about the technology<br />
  57. 57. How can/do policymakers engage with concerns about GM food production?<br /><ul><li>consumer safety
  58. 58. environmental impact
  59. 59. e.g. superweeds, diversity, changes to agricultural practices
  60. 60. economic impact
  61. 61. does it put the interest of multinationals above those of small scale producers?
  62. 62. will it benefit / disadvantage people in poorer countries?
  63. 63. moral and ethical dimensions
  64. 64. moving away from nature
  65. 65. motives of the innovators (and regulators)
  66. 66. why are they doing this to me, and the planet?
  67. 67. what’s in it for me?</li></li></ul><li>Science Communication Conference 2011<br />

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