Surveys show scientifically literate less likely to fear GMOs

| | August 11, 2015
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The debate over GMO safety has come to Congress. Americans’ concerns about GM foods are providing the backdrop: A majority of them believe such foods are generally unsafe to eat.

As this issue plays out on Capitol Hill, polls show that a majority of Americans support labeling genetically modified foods, and half check for GM food labels while shopping.

More than half (57%) of U.S. adults believe that GM foods are generally unsafe to eat, while 37% say these foods are safe, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The survey found differences in views based on education levels and science knowledge. Those with lower levels of educational attainment or science knowledge are more inclined to view GM foods as unsafe.

These opinions stand in contrast with those of American Association for the Advancement of Science members surveyed, who by a wide margin (88%) say GM foods are generally safe to eat. But most Americans aren’t sold on the idea that scientists have a full understanding of the safety of GM foods. Two-thirds (67%) of U.S. adults believe scientists do not have a clear understanding of the health effects associated with genetically modified crops.

Some two-thirds of U.S. adults say they support labeling genetically modified foods, including 39% who strongly favor this action, according to an Associated Press/GfK poll conducted in December 2014. One-quarter (24%) of Americans are neutral on the issue, while 7% are opposed to labeling GM foods. This support is consistent with a 2013 New York Times/CBS News survey, in which 93% of respondents said foods containing genetically modified ingredients should be labeled.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Amid debate over labeling GM foods, most Americans believe they’re unsafe

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