UF Researches Consumer Perception of Genetically Modified Foods

Jun 5, 2018

Genetically modified foods attract a lot of criticism.

Traditionally speaking, GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a term that means DNA from another organism has been added to an organism in order to make it grow better, or faster or be more resistant to things like drought or disease. But, as technology advances, new techniques are becoming available to researchers to make genetic improvements more precisely and in a way that mimics natural mutations and does not use DNA from other organisms.

Maybe, you’ve heard the term CRISPR. It’s a new technique that allows for what’s called gene editing.

The thing is, to most consumers, it all gets lumped into the same category, so now, researchers at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences are embarking on a multi-year study to find out the best ways to combat misinformation and better inform the public about these nuances and how plants are being genetically adjusted to control traits.

Dr. Brandon McFadden will be leading the study. He's an assistant professor of food and resource economics at UF/IFAS, and he joins Gulf Coast Live to talk about the upcoming research.