Team:British Columbia/humanpractices


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Human Practices

For the human practices component of our project, we aimed to understand industry and public’s perception of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and how this can affect our project. Human practices include four main components: researching perception of GMOs through interviews and surveys, designing a marketing strategy outline for GM yogurt, creating a comprehensive labeling guide for GM products, and developing a Spacer Repository for CRISPR systems. This particular approach was chosen for our project due to the consumer-based nature of our final product.

To understand the major struggles and concerns regarding GMOs in the dairy industry, we collected the opinions people have of GMOs through first interviewing various industry and academic professionals. The industry and academic professionals we worked with have backgrounds in yogurt production, dairy marketing, Philosophy, Bioethics, Biology, Microbiology, Genetics, Engineering, Land and Food Systems, and several other fields that are not directly involved with the issue of genetic modification. We then designed a public survey according to the feedback we obtained from the interviews to gather the general public’s opinion. The public survey (conducted at the Telus World of Science on 100 participants) improved our understanding about the major concerns that the public have with regards to consuming Genetically Modified foods, and specifically in our case, yogurt.

Through the public survey, we obtained preliminary data needed to develop a marketing strategy outline for our GM yogurt. After consulting with dairy industry professionals from the BC Dairy Association and Olympic Dairy Products Inc., we developed a marketing strategy outline for our GM yogurt. At the same time, we researched the various labelling standards employed by countries around the world, and taking in feed back from our interviews, generated a comprehensive labelling guide to accompany the marketing strategy for our yogurt.

On the CRISPR end of human practices, we researched the concerns surrounding CRISPR bacterial immunity. Due to recent discoveries with regards to the CRISPR system and scientific advances made in this field, we concluded that creating Space-R, a Spacer Repository, would be beneficial in assessing the potentially unintended implications of these sequences. We developed a submission sample and included the information that would be necessary in the repository.

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Genetically Modified Yogurt

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