Parents’ desires to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMO) are partially driving the increased sales of organic products, according to a study conducted by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) released last week.
The study, a survey of over 1,200 households across the U.S. with at least one child under 18, found that nearly 25 percent of parents already buying organic said that avoiding GMOs is a top reason they choose organic. Only 16 percent of parents said the same in 2013, OTA says.
“Each year we see an increase in parents’ self-described knowledge of organic topics,” said Laura Batcha, OTA CEO and executive director. “Parents have become more informed about the benefits of organic, and they have also become more aware of the questions surrounding GMOs. That heightened awareness is being reflected in their buying decisions.”
The news comes as the organic industry works to differentiate itself from “GMO free” and “Non-GMO Project” labels. USDA prohibits the use of GMOs in its certified organic products. As Miles McEvoy, the Agriculture Department’s National Organic Program (NOP) deputy administrator, explained last year, “This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t use any GMO ingredients.”
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