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.
Posted by JOlmsted at 6:52 AM