Study: Scientific proof of safety unlikely to sway hardened GMO skeptics

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Even when provided with scientific information about genetically modified organisms or global warming, some consumers may hold fast to the beliefs they’ve always had about the two topics, researchers from Florida State University found in a recent study.

In the study, published in the journal Food Policy, researchers also found that 12% of respondents, after reading scientific information stating that GMOs are safe, said they actually felt GMOs were less safe, says Brandon McFadden, an assistant professor in food and resource economics in the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

“This is critical and hopefully demonstrates that as a society we should be more flexible in our beliefs before collecting information from multiple sources,” McFadden said. “Also, this indicates that scientific findings about a societal risk likely have diminishing value over time.”

McFadden and his group surveyed 961 people across the U.S. via the internet in April, 2013, about their beliefs regarding both global warming and GMOs.

To develop a baseline, participants were asked to respond to statements such as: “Genetically modified crops are safe to eat.” To gauge their beliefs about humans and global warming, they responded to statements such as: “The Earth is getting warmer because of human actions.”

Then they were given scientific information about genetically modified foods and global warming.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: If provided with research, consumers may question GMO safety

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