Attitudes towards governance of gene editing

Jennifer Kuzma, Adam Kokotovich, Aliya Kuzhabekova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Gene editing technologies are revolutionising plant biotechnology. They allow for the rapid editing of multiple genes with either mutational, cisgenic, or transgenic approaches. They are also challenging regulations in several countries, as definitions and processes are based upon first generation methods for genetic engineering. In this paper, we present results from a U.S. study investigating the attitudes of subject matter experts (SMEs) towards the governance of genome editing. We find some areas where SMEs seem to agree, including the need for pre-market oversight and stakeholder engagement. However, the SMEs had different visions as to the novelty of the technology, primary issues of concern, hopes for the technology, and what specifically should be done in a regulatory context. Key narratives arose including the view that gene editing provides an new opportunity to rethink the oversight of agricultural biotechnology to improve existing systems (adapter view), that gene editing although revolutionary should undergo less regulation than 1st generation biotechnology (technohype-hyporeg view), and that gene editing makes the engineering process so easy that risk analysis and the regulatory system might not be able to accommodate the speed of development and thus greater caution is warranted. Current policy debates are revealing these differing perspectives, and formal decisions about how to govern this next generation of agricultural biotechnology are pending.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-92
Number of pages24
JournalAsian Biotechnology and Development Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Biotechnology
  • Gene Editing
  • Governance
  • Oversight
  • Regulation


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