By: David Fikes, Executive Director, FMI Foundation

Fruity Gen EditedDr. Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work developing the CRISPR-Cas9 technology that revolutionized the genome editing process, making high-precision changes to genes possible. Dr. Doudna once acknowledged that she initially began her work on CRISPR with medical applications in mind but was now convinced that its implications for food production was going to be the more profound impact for humanity.

Food retailers will soon be asked to carry gene-edited foods on their shelves. The request may come from a provider soliciting business or it may come from a customer who has heard of the benefits of a particular gene-edited product, but the request is coming, and when it does, it will release a flood of questions:

  • Will consumers buy gene edited products?
  • Will shoppers confuse gene-edited foods with genetically modified food products?
  • And if I get questions, where can I find the answers I need from sources shoppers will trust?

Research funded by the FMI Foundation and recently executed by Dr. Vincenzina Caputo of Michigan State University provides valuable answers to these foundational inquiries and more. Insights gleaned from this research will help the industry prepare with confidence for the arrival of a variety of gene edited food products, by addressing such concerns as:

  • What is the level of shopper awareness about gene-edited food products?
  • Where do they get their information?
  • Are there information sources consumers deem more trustworthy than others?
  • Do consumers understand the BE labelling and do gene-edited food products apply?
  • Are there steps we can take to ensure this doesn’t become another GMOish nightmare?

If you are curious about the answers to these issues AND if these questions have spawned others, I invite you join your industry colleagues in a special FMI-member-only preview of findings in the new research report: Consumer Attitudes, Trust, and Acceptance of Bioengineered and Gene-Edited Food under the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. Dr. Vincenzina Caputo will be presenting the key learnings in a webinar on Monday May 9, 2022, at 1:00 PM EST. This event is free to FMI Members. Register for this prescient and highly informative webinar today!

Pre-release copies of the report will be made available to participants following the webinar.