The effects of the name “genomics” on emerging attitudes in the Netherlands and Ukraine

Reginald Boersma, Bart Gremmen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Public opinion is important for the success of a plant breeding practice. Currently, the relatively new practice of genomics-accelerated breeding is under development. From initial findings in research on consumer acceptance, it appears that people experience a strong link between genetic manipulation (GM) and genomics-accelerated breeding after hearing the name “genomics,” leading to an unfavourable evaluation of genomics-accelerated breeding. There are indications that when genomics is presented with the purpose of enhancing food production, the negative link with GM is perceived more readily than when it is presented for other purposes. In the current article, we conduct experiments with the purpose of studying the transference of unfavourable attitudes from GM to genomics-accelerated breeding. The main focus is to investigate if this transfer is influenced by the presented purpose of plant breeding, resp. enhancing food or biofuel production. The results show that universally respondents use their attitudes towards GM to evaluate genomics. In a culture where GM is perceived as controversial (Ukraine), more favourable attitudes towards both practices result when presenting GM in relation to biofuel rather than to food.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100319
JournalNJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Attitude formation
  • Food
  • Interpretation
  • Naming
  • Public perception
  • Science communication

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