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Are consumer perceptions of biotech crops changing?

, | January 16, 2014

A new report from researchers at the University of Florida suggests that the public’s perception of biotech crops could be changing and that consumers are slowly beginning to see them favorably.

University researchers Edward Evans and Fredy Ballen released a report titled, “A Synopsis of US Consumer Perception of Genetically Modified (Biotech) Crops,” which summarizes recent developments in GM food crops and assessment of US public opinion on GM foods based on secondary sources.

The authors said that public opinion is moving slowly toward acceptance of biotech foods globally. Recent studies have shown that consumers are willing to accept biotech foods when provided with information about the safety of the products. Thus, it is important that the public be presented with information about biotechnology and biotech-derived food products

The authors wrote that as new information is presented, consumer perceptions might begin to change:

While it is true that consumer attitudes toward GM foods vary widely across the world, it is also fair to note that public opinion is moving slowly toward acceptance of biotech foods. With a global population nearing 9 billion people, biotech crops offer a tremendous potential to mitigate threats of hunger and some of the adverse impacts of climate changes. Recent studies have shown that consumers are willing to accept biotech foods when provided with additional information on the safety of such products. While international trade issues related to biotech food products will arise based on individual laws and regulations, efforts are underway toward reaching a unified position regarding biotech labeling policies around the planet.

 

Read the full, original study: A Synopsis of US Consumer Perception of Genetically Modified (Biotech) Crops

The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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