Survey: Consumers support current GMO labeling policies

Voluntary GMO labeling supported by 63% of survey respondents.

According to a new survey released, 63% of Americans endorse the Food and Drug Administration’s current voluntary policy for labeling GM foods—a number that is consistent with the survey’s findings in previous years.

The new consumer survey by the International Food Information Council Foundation also reveals positive perceptions of GM foods that offer nutritional benefits, and continued overall confidence in the safety of the U.S. food supply.

At the same time, only one percent of respondents said that biotechnology is something they avoid in their food. And only 4% named biotech as something they want information about on their food labels.

IFIC also found that health benefits of GM foods resonate strongly with American consumers, with large majorities of consumers saying they are likely to purchase GM foods that confer nutritional benefits (67%), contain more healthy fats (72%), or reduce potential for carcinogens (69%).

Even as modern agricultural practices have been maligned by a noisy minority, most Americans have favorable perceptions of modern agriculture, with 74% viewing it as sustainable and 71% saying it produces nutritional food.

Finally, the survey finds that overall confidence in the U.S. food supply remains high at 67%, on par with previous years’ findings.

” Despite an ongoing campaign by supporters of mandatory GMO labeling to scare and mislead consumers about the safety and benefits of GM technology, the vast majority of Americans still have no concerns about the role of GMOs in our food,” said Claire Parker, spokeswoman for the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food. “Here in the U.S., we base our food labeling requirements on science, not fear or political campaigns. This is just further proof that such policies are well accepted and are the best path forward to guarantee safe, affordable food for all Americans.”

The survey was conducted between March 28 and April 7 and included 1000 participants.

In related news, supporters of a GMO labeling bill in California failed to get the votes needed to pass the bill out of the Senate May 29 during a second vote on the measure. The bill garnered 19 votes for and 16 votes against, but failed to reach the 21-vote threshold needed to pass out of the Senate and move on to the state’s Assembly.

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