Not Terrorism, but Finding Cures Is the Top National Issue
Say American voters in a survey conducted by nationally recognized Republican and Democratic strategy firms-Public Opinion Strategies and Peter D Hart Research Associates
The Americans rate the importance of finding cures to diseases as top national issue, much ahead of popularly known issues like fighting terrorism or dealing with illegal immigration according to the surveys conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Peter D Hart Research Associates in the US on the outlook of the biotechnology, which was announced during the opening day of 2007 BIO International Convention in Boston.
Green drug factories
This is the most important revelation that bestows a higher level of expectation from the consumers, policy makers and the industry alike. Further, the Americans expressed majority support for full patient access to new biotech treatments, development of alternative fuels, and embryonic stem cell research as positive developments in the biotech industry. The surveys were conducted during the third and fourth week of April this year. The surveys not only took into account the opinion of the industry leaders but also the general public. Further, the two surveys were conducted jointly by the nationally recognized Republican and Democratic strategy firms Public Opinion Strategies and Peter D Hart Research Associates, which compared the views of nationwide voters and senior-level biotechnology industry executives on a number of issues, including health care, the environment, alternative fuels and stem cell research. While a national telephone survey of 800 registered voters was conducted during April 17-19, 2007 to seek the responses from the voters, a national Internet survey of 252 biotechnology industry leaders was conducted during April 11-24, 2007 to get the feedback from the industry leaders.
Commenting on the findings of the surveys, Jim Greenwood, president and CEO, BIO, said, "There is a lot for all of us to learn. I am heartened by the enormous public support for the current direction of the biotechnology industry. The results of this poll show strong public support for our industry and provide a helpful context as we work throughout the year to ensure a positive policy environment and a familiarity among the general public that allows us to continue to move towards our vision of a better future."
The survey findings clearly demonstrate that the voters and the biotechnology industry share a similar optimistic vision of the future--a vision of a world with cures and treatments for the most devastating diseases, a green, renewable supply of alternative fuels, and a cleaner environment. The groups of respondents-industry and general public--were optimistic that cures to major diseases will be found within the next 10-15 years. According to the survey results, industry leaders and voters share high levels of optimism about the potential for finding cures for serious diseases and have similar perspectives on the likelihood and importance of finding cures, developing clean technologies to reduce pollution, and creating "green drug factories." In fact the voters are more optimistic on the energy independence deliverables than the industry itself.
Only 47 percent of the voters thought GM crops are a "positive development" because they have dramatically increased food production and enhanced its nutritional value, alleviating the problem of hunger and malnutrition in the poorest countries of the world and these crops have reduced the reliance on chemical pesticides. Almost 43 percent of the voters felt GM crops are a "troubling development" as there have not been enough tests to confirm the risks and overall safety.