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“The Media’s Taste for Gene Edited Food”

Presented by Dr. Michael Dahlstrom. Research in collaboration with Dr. Christopher L. Cummings, Zhe (Mia) Wang, and Kasey Opfer

The recently developed gene-editing technology CRIPSR has been heralded as a revolution toward the development of gene-edited foods (GEFs), but many of its proponents are wary of public skepticism toward the technology. This study is the first to explore how GEFs have been portrayed in the mass media. Results suggest that media coverage has thus far been mainly positive with academic scientists most often serving as sources. However, frames surrounding conflict and regulation suggest that ethical questions surrounding the technology are also present.


Michael Dahlstrom is the Director of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University and holds a Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Professorship. His research explores how storytelling impacts the communication of science and the ethical considerations involved. Dahlstrom’s work extends across diverse scientific contexts, including risk, health, agricultural and environmental communication and has been published in leading journals, such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of SciencesPLOS BiologyCommunication Research and Science Communication. He is also co-editor of Ethics and Practice in Science Communication, an edited volume focusing on the often-overlooked ethical challenges underlying science communication. Dahlstrom is a Kavli Fellow and is also a past head of the Communicating Science, Health, Environment and Risk Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.