Danes, the wisest among Europeans
News Oct 02, 2009
Like Spain, Israel, the USA and some other countries, a survey of Danish citizens support using GM plants for production of pharmaceuticals - science Austria, Germany and Japan and some others do not accept.
Isn't it 'against' nature? Yes, Danes think that too, though clearly all medicine is against nature and they have a clear understand of what the word 'organic' means outside the political-social context.
Using genetically modified plants and animals as production platforms for medicine allows pharmaceuticals to be produced faster, more flexibly and profitably. Examples of this form of medicine production is ATryn (antithrombin alfa), produced by genetically modfied goats. Atryn is used to treat blood clots.
The survey included 22,500 citizens. 1,500 from each of 15 industrial countries, 12 European countries, Israel, Japan and the USA. They were asked about their opinion of genetically modified plants and animals producing pharmaceutical proteins. The survey shows a very nuanced picture of people’s attitudes towards genetically modified organisms for pharmaceutical purposes.
What's accounts for this? Unlike the US, 67% of Danes have great confidence in the authorities when it comes to regulating and controlling the cultivation of GM plants planned to be used for pharmaceuticals - 31% think it is acceptable for plants to be grown in open fields even under very strict rules for separation, i.e. several kilometers away from other plants of the same species.
But when it comes to using genetically modified animals to produce medicines, there is less approval in all countries. The least critical are the Spaniards, the Israelis, the Czechs and the Danes; only 38% of the Danes believe that this technology should be supported.
The comprehensive survey has been pulished on-line in the journal EMBO reports. First author is the Spanish sociologist Raphael Pardo. Rikke Bagger Jørgensen from the Biosystems Division at Risø DTU is one of the seven co-authors.