Dwayne D. Kirk and Kim McIntosh
School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University
The use of transgenic plants for production and oral delivery of vaccines has been shown effective in animal trials and Phase I human clinical testing. The use of edible plants for production of vaccines represents an interesting intersection between medical treatments and the use of genetically modified (GM) food crops. Public acceptance of GM foods is highly variable on a global scale, and similar issues of social acceptance will influence the commercial feasibility of a plant-made vaccine. The recipient of a plant-made vaccine may have to weigh the perceived benefits of vaccination against the perceived risks associated with consumption of GM plant materials. A public opinion survey of 706 respondents was conducted to gain an indication of the prospects for public acceptance of this technology and demonstrated strong potential support for a plant-made vaccine.
Key words: Pharmaceuticals, public acceptance, risk, transgenic plants, vaccines.