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Non-GMO product demand surges while consumer biotech knowledge remains low, survey shows

The proportion of shoppers shunning genetically modified foods has tripled over the past decade, according to The Hartman Group, Bellevue, Wash. Forty-six per cent of consumers surveyed last year said they actively avoid bioengineered ingredients, which compared with 15% of consumers surveyed in 2007.

Heightened concerns over bioengineered foods has translated to continued strong demand for Non-GMO Project verified products. The Non-GMO Project, Bellingham, Wash., has verified an estimated 60,000 products owned by more than 5,000 brands since 2010, when the now-ubiquitous butterfly logo began appearing on retail shelves.

“Growth has been extreme and consistent,” said Hans Eisenbeis, director of marketing and communications for the Non-GMO Project. “In terms of the verification program, we continue to grow 15% to 20% every year. In terms of consumer demand, we’re seeing 9% growth, considerably more growth than most other attributes, including organic ….

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While most consumers are aware of genetically modified organisms — 97%, according to The Hartman Group — comprehension generally remains low.

“The depth of the average consumer’s understanding on non-G.M.O. and organic is pretty superficial,” Mr. Eisenbeis said. “We know that with both non-G.M.O. and even more so with organic, the most common Googled search term is ‘definition.’ ‘What’s the definition of G.M.O.?’ ‘What’s the definition of organic?’

Read full, original article: Non-GMO Project growth ‘extreme and consistent’

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