11/07/2005 - This survey on genetically modified (GM) foods revealed that Americans' knowledge of genetically modified (GM) foods and animals continues to remain low, and their opinions reflect that they are particularly uncomfortable with animal cloning. The survey also shows that religious and ethical concerns play a significant role in consumer attitudes towards cloning, and that a significant majority of consumers believe that the government should include ethical and moral considerations when making regulatory decisions about cloning and GM animals.
Despite continuing concerns about GM foods, consumers do not support banning new uses of the technology, but rather seek an active role from regulators to ensure that new products are safe. Although a majority of respondents are uncomfortable with genetically modifying animals, the most widely favored uses are those which provide protection against disease. In addition, when asked about importation of foreign GM products, consumers demonstrated little awareness but clearly favor U.S. regulation.
This is the fourth comprehensive survey of U.S. consumer attitudes about public sentiment about genetically modified food conducted by the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology. Similar comprehensive surveys were previously conducted in January 2001, August 2003 and September 2004.
This year the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology sought to conduct another survey that tracked some of the issues addressed in prior surveys as well as further address the issues of genetically modified animals, animal cloning and imports of GM foods. The survey, conducted by telephone by the Mellman Group and Public Opinion Strategies, October 10-16, 2005 included 1,000 American consumers. The margin of error for this survey is +/-3.1 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence. The margin of error is higher for subgroups.
Read the full report Public Sentiment About Genetically Modified Food (2005).