Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Broad Skepticism is the Harvest For Genetically Modified Foods 

With safety concerns widespread, Americans almost unanimously favor mandatory labels 
on genetically modified foods. And most say they’d use those labels to avoid the product. 
Barely over a third of the public believes that genetically modified foods are safe to eat. 
Instead 52 percent believe such foods are unsafe, and an additional 13 percent are unsure 
about them. That’s broad doubt on the very basic issue of food safety. 
 Perception of genetically modified foods 
 Safe Unsafe No opinion 
 35% 52 13 

Nearly everyone, moreover – 93 percent – says the federal government should require 
labels on food saying whether it’s been genetically modified, or “bio-engineered” (this 
poll used both phrases). Such near-unanimity in public opinion is rare. 
Fifty-seven percent also say they’d be less likely to buy foods labeled as genetically 
modified. That puts the food industry in a quandary: By meeting consumer demand for 
labeling, it would be steering business away from its genetically modified products. 
ORGANIC – The image problem of genetically modified food is underscored by contrast 
to organic foods. While only five percent of Americans say they’d be more likely to buy 
a food labeled as genetically modified, 52 percent say they’d be more likely to buy food 
that’s labeled as having been raised organically. 
 More likely Less likely No 
Food labeled: to buy to buy difference 
 Genetically modified 5% 57 34 
 Organically raised 52 10 36 
WOMEN – Genetically modified foods are particularly unpopular among women, 
another problem for food producers since so many women do the family shopping. 
Sixty-two percent of women think genetically modified foods are unsafe to eat, a view 
that’s shared by far fewer men, 40 percent. Indeed a plurality of men think these foods 
are safe, while women disagree by better than 2-1.

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