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From consumer protection to innovation marketing of green genetic engineering: Policy recommendations for optimised innovation communication

Thematic complex:
Designing appropriate regulatory frameworks and institutions
Project duration:
01.04.2023 - 31.12.2023
Investigated countries:

Problem definition and objective

Genetic engineering with the new genetic engineering methods is considered to be of great importance for the adaptation of agricultural systems to climate change and environmental goals. In particular, the application of the gene-editing method CRISPR, pushed by the Nobel Prize-winning research of Charpentier and Doudna, enables the precise breeding of disease-resistant plant varieties. In contrast to the usual gene manipulation, gene editing does not involve the introduction of foreign genes into the organism, but rather the targeted triggering of a mutation at a specific point in the DNA. This could reduce the use of plant protection products in agriculture.

With activities in innovation marketing, the German government has taken on a new role to push consumer acceptance of genetic engineering in agriculture and food production in recent years. This involves providing consumers with a comprehensive range of information about green genetic engineering. Also, discussion events are organized to accelerate the social dialogue process and science communication is promoted to transfer research findings to the society. 

In the existing literature, some studies find that information about new genetic breeding methods increases consumer acceptance of green genetic engineering. Other studies indicate that consumer acceptance is rather determined by attitude-related factors and cannot be changed. Though, information’s potential to mitigate extreme beliefs regarding both risks and benefits of genetically engineered foods is confirmed. Information was also found to make attitudes and choices more extreme, such that they reinforce original attitudes (confirmation bias).

Research questions

This project aims to develop strategies and derive policy recommendations for the innovation communication of applications of gene-editing CRISPR technology in plant breeding. Target groups will be identified and policy recommendations for the target group-specific format of information provision and science communication will be made. This project aims to contribute to increasing consumer acceptance of the new genetic engineering methods so that they can be used to improve the sustainability of agricultural systems.

Research design and methods

The project investigates the willingness of German consumers to buy genetically modified food using CRISPR gene-edited tomatoes as an example. An online consumer survey is conducted with a two-stage discrete consumer choice experiment. The influence of information on the subjects' selection behavior is investigated by means of videos with information about the CRISPR GE technology in logical- scientific format and narrative format, respectively.  



Götz, L., M. Svanidze, A. Tissier, J. Gil, D. Rahmani (2023): Vom Verbraucherschutz zum Innovationsmarketing Grüner Gentechnik: Politikempfehlungen für eine optimierte Innovationskommunikation, in: Implikationen einer veränderten Rollenverteilung zwischen Staat und Markt für die zukünftige Landwirtschaft, Schriftenreihe der Rentenbank No. 39, S. 37-57.

Götz, LindeSvanidze, Miranda; Tissier, Alain; Brand Duran, Alejandro (2022) Consumers’ willingness to buy CRISPR gene-edited tomatoes: Evidence from a choice experiment case study in GermanySustainability 14 (2)


Gil Roig, Jose M.; Götz, Linde; Rahmani, Djamel; Svanidze, Miranda; Tissier, Alain (2023) Effects of scientific and narrative information on willingness-to-pay for CRISPR tomatoes in Germany, Invited presentation, Organized Paper Session “Which role for information for consumer acceptance of genetically engineered foods?”, EAAE Congress, Rennes, France.

Gil Roig, Jose M.; Götz, Linde; Rahmani, Djamel; Svanidze, Miranda; Tissier, Alain; Jamali Jaghdani, Tinoush (2023) Vom Verbraucherschutz zum Innovationsmarketing grüner Gentechnik: Politikempfehlungen für eine optimierte Innovationskommunikation, Symposium der Edmund Rehwinkel-Stiftung, Berlin, Deutschland.

Project partners


		PD Dr. habil. Linde Götz

PD Dr. habil. Linde Götz

Deputy Head of Department Agricultural Markets
Room: 222

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Project Staff

Dr. Miranda Svanidze
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PD Dr. habil. Linde Götz (Project leader)
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