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Commercialization and Society: Strategic and Policy Implications

Competition I
Agriculture and Agri Food
Genome Centre(s):
Genome Prairie
Project Leader(s):
Edna Einsiedel (University of Calgary)
Fiscal Year Project Launched: 
Project Description: 

This is a stand-alone GE3LS project.

Canadians are well aware of controversies on the subject of genetic research. For example, the safety and benefits of genetically modified foods have been argued for ten years, and the case for and against human stem-cell research is discussed almost daily. As Canada and the world sets out on an important new scientific venture—the Human Genome Project—our society needs to consider very carefully the ethical and legal implications of genome research. Genome research and its applications will have profound effects on our lives and will be subject to new laws and regulations.

Our research sounds out public opinion about genome research, aims to understand the effects of government regulations and analyzes ways in which genomic research can be commercialized. Our results will help governments make policies to ensure that the applications of genomic research occur safely and in the full knowledge of public opinion.

We produced a variety of studies on public reaction to the use of genetically modified foods,on the impact of news media on public attitudes and information, on legal aspects of human genetic databases and on the implications of patenting life forms. Our research will be important in helping to set government policy in the application of genome research.