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The Effect of Scientific Information on Possible Gene-Edited Solutions for Citrus Greening

AAEA members release new research in AEPP

The public may not view gene editing very differently than genetic modification and have an initial response that is negative. Nevertheless, gene-edited vector control and host resistance have the potential to be accepted, but a unidirectional communication strategy that employs narrative to introduce the cost of inaction and potential benefits of gene editing is unlikely to be effective for a wide swath of the public.

In the new article “The Effect of Scientific Information and Narrative on Preferences for Possible Gene-Edited Solutions for Citrus Greening” published in the Applied Economic Perspective & Policy, Brandon McFadden, Kelly Davidson, and John Bernard from the University of Delaware as well as Brittany Anderton from iBiology examine public attitudes toward  gene editing and the effects of common communication strategies on support for using gene editing to reduce pests and disease.

McFadden says, “While the public views gene-edited plants to be a safer application of the technology than gene-edited insects or animals, there was no difference in the level of support for a gene-edited insect versus gene-edited tree solution to citrus greening. Therefore, the public may have a more supportive behavioral response to biotechnology than emotional responses would suggest.”

If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190