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Attitudes to Genetic Engineering

Japanese and International Comparisons

Darryl R. J. Macer, Ph.D. Eubios Ethics Institute 1992


Copyright1992, Darryl R. J. Macer. All commercial rights reserved. This publication may be reproduced for limited educational or academic use, however please enquire with the author.

Tables and Figures


pp.v-vi in Attitudes to Genetic Engineering: Japanese and International Comparisons D.R.J. Macer (Eubios Ethics Institute, 1992).
Table 2-1 Cumulative response rates of the different groups 14
Table 2-2 Sample Characteristics 16
Table 2-3 Public Occupations 17
Table 2-4 Academic Speciality 18

Figure 3-1 Comparative interest in science and technology between Japan and New Zealand 20
Table 3-1 Interest in science and technology 21
Table 3-2 Awareness of developments in science and technology 24
Figure 3-2 Comparative awareness of science developments between Japan and New Zealand 26
Figure 3-3 Comparative perceptions of the benefits of science developments between Japan and New Zealand 28
Table 3-3 Attitudes to developments in science and technology 30
Figure 3-4 Comparative public concern about the impact of developments in science and technology between Japan and New Zealand 32
Figure 3-5 Comparative concerns about the impacts of science developments between Japan and New Zealand 33
Table 3-4 Does science lead to more benefits than harm? 34
Figure 3-6 Comparative perceptions of science developments between Japan and New Zealand 35
Table 3-5 Science and the quality of life 37
Figure 3-7 Science and the quality of life 38

Table 4-1 Awareness of genetic manipulation 40
Table 4-2 Acceptability of genetic manipulation on different organisms 41
Figure 4-1 Comparative acceptability of genetic manipulation in Japan and New Zealand 42
Table 4-3 Reasons given for unacceptability of genetic manipulation 46
Figure 4-2 Schematic summary of the reasons given for the unacceptability of genetic manipulation, in response to Q7b, in Japan and New Zealand 49
Table 4-4 Conditional acceptability of genetic manipulation 51
Table 4-5 Perceptions of benefits and risks from genetic manipulation 52
Figure 4-3 Comparative perceptions of the benefits and risks of genetic manipulation in Japan and New Zealand 53
Table 4-6 Benefits of genetic manipulation cited by respondents 56
Figure 4-4 Reasons cited for benefits of genetic manipulation 61
Table 4-7 Risks of genetic manipulation cited by respondents 66
Figure 4-5 Reasons cited for risks of genetic manipulation in Japan 69
Figure 4-6 Benefits and risks of genetic manipulation 72
Figure 4-7 Correlation of acceptability of genetic manipulation with perception of risks and benefits 73
Table 4-8 Relationship between the awareness of genetic engineering (Q5a) and perceptions of genetic manipulation (Q7) 74
Table 4-9 Attitudes towards specific applications of GMOs 78
Figure 4-8 Attitudes to environmental release of GMOs 79
Figure 4-9 Perception of environmental benefits from applications of genetic engineering in agriculture (Q16f) in Japan and New Zealand 81

Figure 5-1 Economics versus the environment, which has first priority? 84
Figure 5-2 Attitudes to patenting of living organisms and genetic material 90
Table 5-1 Attitudes towards patenting 91
Table 5-2 Attitudes towards patenting by company, government and university scientists 92
Table 5-3 Public opinion over patenting 93
Figure 5-3 Approval of patents for the subject matters as indicated, by the different sample groups in Japan and New Zealand 93

Table 6-1 Concerns about consuming foodstuffs made from GMOs 98
Table 6-2 The relationship between awareness of genetic engineering (Q5a) and concerns expressed about consuming foodstuffs made from GMOs (Q8b) 98
Figure 6-1 Concerns about consuming foodstuffs made from GMOs 99
Table 6-3 Concerns about foodstuffs cited by respondents 102
Table 6-4 Responses to Q8b that expressed concern about cruelty to animals, in Japan and in New Zealand 105
Figure 6-2 Concerns of consuming foodstuffs made from GMOs in Japan and New Zealand 106

Table 7-1 Attitudes to genetic screening 116
Figure 7-1 Comparative attitudes to genetic screening in Japan and the USA 117
Table 7-2 Attitudes to gene therapy 123
Figure 7-2 Comparative attitudes to gene therapy in Japan and the USA 123

Table 8-1 Credibility of statements 128
Table 8-2 Company scientists appear to show least concern about product safety compared to government and university scientists 129
Figure 8-1 Comparative attitudes towards scientists in Japan and New Zealand 130
Table 8-3 Science policy 132
Figure 8-2 Comparative public support for more government funding of science in Japan and New Zealand 133
Table 8-4 Regulation of biotechnology 135
Figure 8-3 Comparative perception of public understanding of science by teachers and scientists in Japan and New Zealand 142
Table 8-5 Science education 143
Figure 8-4 Comparative teaching of the ethical, social and environmental issues associated with genetic engineering in Japanese and New Zealand 145
Table 8-6 Teaching about the issues associated with genetic engineering 146
Table 8-7 Media influence 147
Table 8-8 Sources of information for making decisions 149
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