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EuropaBio Responds to the Eurobarometer on Biotechnology 2010

Date

15 Nov 2010

Sections

Agriculture & Food
EU Priorities 2020
Innovation & Enterprise

Brussels, 15 November 2010

The European Commission’s Eurobarometer on public perceptions of life sciences and biotechnology, released on November 11th, indicated that confidence and optimism are on the rise.

The survey, conducted in February of this year, showed that 80% of Europeans are in favour of or are unopposed to biotechnology.  However, findings also highlighted that Europeans are still hungry for facts and communication about the technology.

Commenting on the findings, Nathalie Moll, EuropaBio Secretary General, said “These findings are very encouraging. They show that Europeans increasingly understand and appreciate the benefits that biotechnology brings to them in terms of healthier, longer lives, cleaner, greener products and processes and increased food and energy security. In particular, we are delighted by the overwhelming support for medical biotechnology and for the strong support shown for crop-based and non-food based biofuels. Whilst the rest of the world, year upon year for 14 consecutive years, increasingly adopts agricultural biotech, in Europe the figure continues to hover around the 40% approval mark. Given that Europe has access to only a fraction of the agricultural biotech products on the market compared to the rest of the world, it is even more crucial that we communicate the benefits of the technology with respect to the sustainable use of our natural resources in agriculture, our food security and our economy.”

Interestingly, the results of the survey showed that in certain member states people were particularly positive towards the technology in general, for example in Estonia 77%, Sweden 72% and Finland 69%. “It seems that some countries are better at communicating the advantages offered by this technology,” commented Moll, “and we will aim to learn from their successes.”

Andrea Rappagliosi, EuropaBio Chairman, concluded: “We are delighted that in releasing these results Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn has underlined that biotechnology can make an enormous contribution to our Europe 2020 goals of sustainable growth and better health and quality of life and that as such it will remain a key research area under EU Framework Programmes.  Put simply, this industry will continue to be a major provider of solutions that help people to lead longer, healthier and greener lives.  We are committed to increasing understanding of the technology, the benefits that it already delivers and its potential to improve so many aspects of our lives.  European support for this technology is fundamental to our fulfilling our global potential in this field and these results provide an important vote of confidence and a boost to the European biotech industry.”

 

ENDS.

 

Link to Eurobarometer report on Biotechnology 2010: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_341_en.pdf

 

For further information please contact:

 

Nathalie Moll

Secretary General, EuropaBio

Tel: +32 2 739 11 71; Email: n.moll@europabio.org

 

Joanna Dupont Inglis

Communications Manager, EuropaBio

Tel: +32 2 739 11 84; GSM: +32 476 60 71 35 Email: j.dupont@europabio.org

 

EuropaBio is the European Association for Bioindustries, bringing together bioscience companies from all fields of research and development, testing, manufacturing and distribution of biotechnology products. It has 66 corporate and 7 associated members, 4 BioRegions and 22 National Biotechnology Associations representing some 1800 small and medium sized enterprises.

www.europabio.org

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