Public perceptions about genetically modified (GM) food products is shifting from wariness to a more positive attitude as I discovered when compiling a survey for the Farming Independent over the past few months.
For the survey, I interviewed 100 parents of children under the age of 10 in the greater Dublin area on the topic of genetically modified milk, mimicking human breast milk, from dairy cows. All questions had the initial proviso of: 'If this GM milk was proven safe by the EU'.
One of the more surprising findings was that 57% of parents said that this GM milk should be allowed into Europe. Even more surprising was that 38% of Irish parents said that they would feed this GM milk to their child. In addition, 63% felt there would be a market for this milk in Ireland.
Another significant finding was that 67% of those surveyed believed that Irish farmers should be allowed to breed cows for the production of this GM milk if required in the future.
On GM in general, 58 percent agreed that GM food would be essential if we are going to feed a growing world population. A surprisingly low figure of 27 percent indicated that they were against all GM food production.
I believe that if this study was carried out a decade ago these figures would not be as high.
This new industry, if successful, is likely to develop into a rapidly growing global business.
Our dairy and food industry will need to initiate a debate and decide on the direction we will take with GM milk.
Read full, original article: It's milk - but not as we know it