Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Public perceptions regarding genomic technologies applied to breeding farm animals: A qualitative study

Lookup NU author(s): Francis Naab, Dr David Coles, Professor Lynn FrewerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.The societal acceptability of different applications of genomic technologies to animal production systems will determine whether their innovation trajectories will reach the commercialisation stage. Importantly, technological implementation and commercialisation trajectories, regulation, and policy development need to take account of public priorities and attitudes. More effective co-production practices will ensure the application of genomic technologies to animals aligns with public priorities and are acceptable to society. Consumer rejection of, and limited demand for, animal products developed using novel genomic technologies will determine whether they are integration into the food system. However, little is known about whether genomic technologies that accelerate breeding but do not introduce cross-species genetic changes are more acceptable to consumers than those that do. Five focus groups, held in the north east of England, were used to explore the perceptions of, and attitudes towards, the use of genomic technologies in breeding farm animals for the human food supply chain. Overall, study participants were more positive towards genomic technologies applied to promote animal welfare (e.g., improved disease resistance), environmental sustainability, and human health. Animal “disenhancement” was viewed negatively and increased food production alone was not perceived as a potential benefit. In comparison to gene editing, research participants were most negative about genetic modification and the application of gene drives, independent of the benefits delivered.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Naab FZ, Coles D, Goddard E, Frewer LJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BioTech

Year: 2021

Volume: 10

Issue: 4

Print publication date: 01/12/2021

Online publication date: 03/12/2021

Acceptance date: 01/12/2021

Date deposited: 14/01/2022

ISSN (electronic): 2673-6284

Publisher: MDPI


DOI: 10.3390/biotech10040028


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
.. which is registered at the University of Alberta under the number RES0030198.
... which is registered at the University of Alberta under the number RES0030284
Genome Canada LSARP 2015 project "“Increasing feed efficiency and reducing methane emissions through genomics: a new promising goal for the Canadian dairy industry”, ..
The research was undertaken as part of a Genome Canada LSARP 2015 project “Application of genomics to improve disease resilience and sustainability in pork production” ...