Survey shows Floridians support genetic modification to save citrus industry

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Floridians support the use of genetic modification to save the state’s citrus industry, according to recent research by the Center for Public Issues Education (PIE), which is housed in the University of Florida’s Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Respondents first read a description about the disease known as “citrus greening,” which is devastating Florida’s orange crop, and how no cure is currently known. Genetic modification is a possible solution. After reading the description, 52 percent of respondents ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that genetic modification “should be used to save the citrus industry,” while 33 percent of the respondents “felt neutral about the scenario.” In addition, 42 percent of the respondents said that they would purchase GM Florida-grown citrus fruit and juice.

PIE Center Director Tracy Irani says that the “positive responses could be made because of the emotional connection and personal relevance Floridians feel about the citrus industry.”

In another survey-based study, respondents were asked to rate the importance of issues relating to food. PIE Center researchers found that while “food safety” remained “highly or extremely important,” GMOs received a much lower ranking.

“Although GMOs seem like a big deal in the media…respondents are ranking GMOs toward the bottom,” says Joy Rumble, the PIE Center researcher who led the study.

Read the full, original story here: Floridians support using GMOs to prevent citrus greening

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