Survey: Americans uncertain about GMOs

8 Oct 2018

GMO Answers has released the findings of a new YouGov survey finding that a majority of Americans aren’t confident they definitely know what genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are,

Survey: Americans uncertain about GMOs

GMO Answers, an initiative committed to responding to consumer questions about how their food is grown, has released the findings of a new YouGov survey finding that a majority of Americans aren’t confident they definitely know what genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are, and that this lack of knowledge may be driving overall uncertainty and discomfort. However, concern and confusion do not equate to rejection, as the survey finds that nearly the same number of Americans want to learn more about GMOs.

Food from GMO crops – which are developed using techniques that enable us to take a beneficial trait (like insect resistance or drought tolerance) from one organism and transfer it into a crop plant – have been consumed for decades, the organisation notes, and despite over 20 years of evidence confirming that GMOs are safe for human consumption, it claims widespread misinformation about GMO health and safety remains. GMO Answers conducted the survey to better understand public perceptions of GMOs and launched the findings on the first day of “Get to Know GMOs Month,” an annual event held in October to encourage conversations about GMOs, explain new advancements, and dispel common misconceptions around the health and safety of GMOs.

The survey’s key findings, which come shortly before the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to publish its final bioengineered food disclosure labeling standard, include:

+ 69% of consumers are not confident they know what GMOs are, and less than a third of Americans (32%) say they are comfortable with the use of GMOs in their food products.

+ Roughly 3 in 5 Americans are interested in learning more about GMOs.

+ 74% want to learn more about GMOs’ impact on their overall health.

+ 67% are interested in learning more about the overall safety of GMOs.

+ 43% of consumers believe that food (in general) sold in the US is safe for consumption, meaning there is widespread distrust as a whole when it comes to food production, despite the U.S. having the safest food supply in the world.

“Despite GMOs being part of our food supply for almost a quarter of a century, and global scientific consensus on the health and safety of this technology, Americans remain as confused as ever about how GMOs impact their lives and the world around them,” said Michael Stebbins, Director of External Engagement for the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) and GMO Answers spokesperson. “That is why we at GMO Answers are committed to answering any questions about GMOs with information backed by validated, independent, and peer-reviewed science. We will continue this mission to address GMO concerns and provide the answers consumers are looking for in a transparent and easy-to-access manner.”