Paving the way for a softer regulation of CRISPR in Norway: public engagement as window dressing
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Responsible Innovation. 2022, . 10.1080/23299460.2022.2146863
Gene editing technologies like CRISPR have raised questions about the need for new regulations throughout Europe. In Norway, the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board initiated a comprehensive process to formulate a proposal for a relaxation of the regulation of GMOs in 2016. This article investigates the Board's initiative as part of the prevailing RRI policy discourse and follows how the process unfolded as a public engagement exercise. A document analysis of the Board's statements and the public's written comments revealed that the Board managed to construct a nuanced public debate around GMOs; however, the Board did not acknowledge that the different interpretations of key terms in the proposal led to very different conclusions as to how CRISPR should be regulated. Therefore, the inclusion of the public appears more as a means to build support for the proposal than as a learning exercise as understood by the RRI-framework.