Nearly half of US fruit growers want biotech crops, survey shows, but fear consumers won’t buy GMO products

| | January 23, 2020
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And you thought growers could go on and on about problems with the weather, or their employees, or any of a number of issues they deal with on a day-to-day basis? That was nothing compared to the flood of responses to American Fruit Grower’s annual State of the Industry survey on man-made climate change and, to a lesser degree, the production of crops that have been genetically modified in a lab.

The question: “Would you produce a GMO crop if one was available to you?” The final tally: 49.4% said “No,” and a total of 47.5% said “Yes.” Reflecting a further schism, of those responding affirmatively, a total of 33.8% said “if it offered production advantages for me,” while 13.7% said “if it offered benefits for customers.”

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GMOs are widely considered safe, and are consumed by most Americans every day as though few fruit crops are GMOs …. Growers’ answers largely reflected this reality. Sure, a few said simply “never,” or “not sure, have to convince me of advantages.” …. But most were primarily concerned by how they were perceived in the marketplace. Some simply said something along the lines of “Customers are very against,” or “Not until acceptable to general public.”

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