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Shotguns vs Lasers: Identifying barriers and facilitators to scaling-up plant molecular farming for high-value health products.

Menary, J; Hobbs, M; Mesquita de Albuquerque, S; Pacho, A; Drake, PMW; Prendiville, A; Ma, JK-C; Fuller, SS (2020) Shotguns vs Lasers: Identifying barriers and facilitators to scaling-up plant molecular farming for high-value health products. PLoS One, 15 (3). e0229952. ISSN 1932-6203 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0229952
SGUL Authors: Fuller, Sebastian Suarez Drake, Pascal

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Abstract

Plant molecular farming (PMF) is a convenient and cost-effective way to produce high-value recombinant proteins that can be used in the production of a range of health products, from pharmaceutical therapeutics to cosmetic products. New plant breeding techniques (NPBTs) provide a means to enhance PMF systems more quickly and with greater precision than ever before. However, the feasibility, regulatory standing and social acceptability of both PMF and NPBTs are in question. This paper explores the perceptions of key stakeholders on two European Union (EU) Horizon 2020 programmes-Pharma-Factory and Newcotiana-towards the barriers and facilitators of PMF and NPBTs in Europe. One-on-one qualitative interviews were undertaken with N = 20 individuals involved in one or both of the two projects at 16 institutions in seven countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Spain and the UK). The findings indicate that the current EU regulatory environment and the perception of the public towards biotechnology are seen as the main barriers to scaling-up PMF and NPBTs. Competition from existing systems and the lack of plant-specific regulations likewise present challenges for PMF developing beyond its current niche. However, respondents felt that the communication of the benefits and purpose of NPBT PMF could provide a platform for improving the social acceptance of genetic modification. The importance of the media in this process was highlighted. This article also uses the multi-level perspective to explore the ways in which NPBTs are being legitimated by interested parties and the systemic factors that have shaped and are continuing to shape the development of PMF in Europe.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright: © 2020 Menary et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: MD Multidisciplinary, General Science & Technology
SGUL Research Institute / Research Centre: Academic Structure > Infection and Immunity Research Institute (INII)
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS One
ISSN: 1932-6203
Language: eng
Dates:
DateEvent
20 March 2020Published
18 February 2020Accepted
Projects:
Project IDFunderFunder ID
774078Horizon 2020UNSPECIFIED
760331Horizon 2020UNSPECIFIED
PubMed ID: 32196508
Go to PubMed abstract
URI: http://openaccess.sgul.ac.uk/id/eprint/111762
Publisher's version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0229952

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