Attitudes towards the use of genetically modified animals in research.
Schuppli, Catherine A.
Weary, Daniel M.
Public understanding of science (Bristol, England) 2010 Nov; 19(6): 686-97
Here we provide the first experimental evidence that public concerns about the use of animals in research are accentuated when genetically modified (GM) animals are used. Using an online survey, we probed participant views on two uses of pigs as research animals (to reduce agricultural pollution or to improve organ transplant success in humans) with and without GM. We surveyed 327 animal technicians, researchers, advocates, university students and others. In both scenarios and across demographics, support dropped off when the research required the use of GM pigs or GM corn. For example, 66% of participants supported using pigs to reduce phosphorus pollution, but this declined to 49% when the pigs were fed GM corn and to 20% when the research required the creation of a new GM line of pigs. Those involved in animal research were more consistently supportive compared to those who were not or those who were vegetarians.
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