Social Acceptability of Cisgenic Plants: Public Perception, Consumer Preferences, and Legal Regulation

Christian Daye*, Armin Spoek, Andrew Allan, Tomiko Yamaguchi, Thorben Sprink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Part of the rationale behind the introduction of the term cisgenesis was the expectation that due to the “more natural” character of the genetic modification, cisgenic plants would be socially more acceptable than transgenic ones. This chapter assesses whether this expectation was justified. It thereby addresses three arenas of social acceptability: public perception, consumer preferences, and legal regulation. Discussing and comparing recent studies from four geographical areas across the globe—Europe, North America, Japan, and Australia and New Zealand—the chapter shows that the expectation was justified, and that cisgenic plants are treated as being more acceptable than other forms of genetic modification. Yet, there are considerable differences across the three arenas of social acceptability. In Australia, Canada, and the United States of America, the legal regulation of cisgenic plants is less restrictive than in Europe, Japan, and New Zealand. Also, the public perceptions are rather diverse across these countries, as are the factors that are deemed most influential in informing public opinion and consumer decisions. While people in North America appear to be most interested in individual benefits of the products (improved quality, health aspects), Europeans are more likely to accept cisgenic plants and derived products if they have a proven environmental benefit. In New Zealand, in contrast, the potential impact of cisgenic plants on other, more or less related markets, like meat export and tourism, is heavily debated. We conclude with some remarks about a possible new arrangement between science and policy that may come about with a new, or homogenized, international regulatory regime.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCisgenic Crops
Subtitle of host publicationSafety, Legal and Social Issues
EditorsAnurag Chaurasia, Chittaranjan Kole
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages75
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2023

Publication series

NameConcepts and Strategies in Plant Sciences
PublisherSpringer Cham
ISSN (Print)2662-3188
ISSN (Electronic)2662-3196

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology

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