GERMANY; Munich. The consumption of artificially produced meat is opposed by the majority of Germans.
According to the recently published "Technik Radar 2020" (Technology Radar 2020), for which acatech - German Academy of Science and Engineering and the Körber Foundation interviewed randomly selected German-speaking persons aged 16 and over by telephone last summer, only 24% of consumers can imagine eating laboratory meat.
The low level of agreement is linked to a number of negative aspects associated with laboratory meat: Almost two thirds (64.8%) fear that the consumption of laboratory meat would lead to a further alienation of people from the production of their food. Almost one in two (47.1%) believes that laboratory meat is more risky than animal meat and a large majority (57.8%) does not believe that laboratory meat is an appropriate approach to overcoming the global food problem. Overall, only a minority (15.7%) think that laboratory meat is a good thing. Women in middle and old age are particularly sceptical, while young men are much more positive about synthetic meat.
Only four out of ten Germans (40%) believe that giving up meat is a necessary contribution to securing the world's food supply. There are big differences between the sexes and age groups: Above all, women over 65 years of age (51.3%) are convinced that giving up meat would make sense in the fight against world hunger. Men in the middle age group between 35 and 65 years (32.3%) believe this least of all. Middle-aged men are particularly committed to frequent meat consumption (55.9%). Among women over 65 the figure is only 17%.
Germans also continue to be sceptical about green genetic engineering. These were rejected by 58% of those questioned. Only one in five recognised the benefits of the procedures. Two thirds considered the resulting risks to be high. In contrast, the majority of the study participants (88%) were positive about the replacement of petroleum-based plastics with products made from renewable resources. Three out of four respondents saw the conversion of biological waste and residual materials into fuels as a good thing. Around 63% were in favour of government support for the process. However, 42% considered a plant for the production of biofuel near residential areas to be unreasonable.
"We can see that sustainable economic activity is fundamentally important to Germans," explained Tatjana König of the Körber Foundation. The picture is less clear when it comes to political implementation or personal consequences. The results on the role of politics in environmental protection also speak for this. In the study, the question of whether the state should compel people to act in an environmentally sound manner was answered in one-third of cases in favour, one-third against and one-third ambivalent. The picture is more uniform when it comes to the guidelines for the economy. Six out of ten respondents believe that politicians should take action to protect the climate, even if the economy suffers as a result.