In recent years, there have been significant developments in biotechnology, specifically regarding New Plant Breeding Techniques (NPBTs). Such advancements have been driven by the need to develop improved and more sustainable crops while reducing pesticides and fertilisers. NPBTs include a heterogeneous group of methods that allow performing plant mutations more precisely than in genetically modified (GM) technologies, saving time and effort. Although some experts consider NPBTs an opportunity for organic farming expansion, the European Court of Justice in 2018 pronounced against their use in organic farming since all plants obtained by NPBTs should follow the same regulations as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). This study aims to understand consumers’ attitudes and viewpoints towards new breeding techniques. Focus groups and Q methodological approach were used to uncover consensus and divergence among organic consumers in seven selected European countries (Germany, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom). Results of qualitative studies suggest that organic consumers are generally hostile towards NPBTs in organic farming. Using Q methodology, three distinct factors were identified: the “Risk Averse”, the “Technological Optimists”, and the “Socially Concerned”. The results highlight that consumers’ subjective knowledge and understanding of NPBTs diverge from the discourse of NPBTs lobbyists and proponents.
Freedom of Choice—Organic Consumers’ Discourses on New Plant Breeding Techniques / Mandolesi, Serena; Cubero Dudinskaya, Emilia; Naspetti, Simona; Solfanelli, Francesco; Zanoli, Raffaele. - In: SUSTAINABILITY. - ISSN 2071-1050. - ELETTRONICO. - 14:14(2022), p. 8718. [10.3390/su14148718]