European Commission
Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
TOBE 2014 – 3rd BioEconomy Stakeholders' Conference

BioEconomy Stakeholders' Conference

"From sectors to system, from concept to reality"

Lynn Frewer

Lynn Frewer
Newcastle University - Professor, Food and Society

Professor Lynn Frewer is Chair of Food and Society at Newcastle University.

Previously she was Professor of Food and Society at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Head of Consumer Science at the Institute of Food research at Norwich in the UK.

Research interests focus on understanding and measuring societal and individual responses to risks and benefits associated with food, health, sustainability and safety, methodological innovation regarding the application of systematic reviews in the social science, and agrifood governance and associated policy issues, including policy translation of scientific results and foresight.

Lynn has had extensive involvement in EU and nationally funded projects, primarily in the area of social science and the (agri) food sector.

She has published over 165 refereed journal articles and edited 5 books). She has also been involved in national and European research funding and strategy committees.



Different applications of GM and the bioeconomy. Differences in societal acceptance.
Social, (including that related to public perceptions and attitudes) environmental and economic knowledge regarding GM animals is needed formulate policy recommendations relevant to new developments and applications. The use of GM in farmed animals (aquatic, terrestrial, and pharmaceutical) has been mapped and reviewed, and future trends identified. The potential risks and benefits of GM animals from the perspectives of the production chain (economics and agri-food sector) and the life sciences (human and animal health, environmental impact, animal welfare, and sustainable production) have been mapped, together with ethical and policy concerns (examined through application of combined ethical matrix method and policy workshops). Public perceptions, ethical issues, the competitiveness of EU animal production, and risk-benefit assessments that consider human and animal health, environmental impact, and sustainable production need to be considered in EU policy development. However, few issues were raised with application in the pharmaceutical sector, assuming ethical and economic issues were addressed in policy, but the introduction of agricultural GM animal applications should be considered on a case-by-case basis. In summary, public perceptions of GM animals are generally more negative than towards GM plants, GM animals are perceived more negatively if used for food rather than for pharmaceuticals. A case-by-case assessment of the risks and benefits of GM animals is warranted, although EU governance systems are reasonably well-prepared for their introduction. Public and stakeholder engagement exercises can be useful tools for informing policy development.
Frewer, L. J., Kleter, G. A., Brennan, M., Coles, D., Fischer, A. R. H., Houdebine, L. M., Mora, C. Millar, K. & Salter, B. (2013). Genetically modified animals from life-science, socio-economic and ethical perspectives: examining issues in an EU policy context. New Biotechnology, 30(5), 447-460.