Public Sentiment About Genetically Modified Food (2001)

Source Organization: Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology

Author: The Mellman Group/Public Opinion Strategies


03/01/2001 - This survey on biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) foods revealed that consumers know relatively little about GM foods, are uncertain about their safety and change their views about safety when more information about widespread use of GM foods is revealed. Opposition to the introduction of GM foods to the U.S. food supply also exists.

The survey, conducted by telephone January 22-28, 2001, included 1001 American consumers. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 3.1% at the 95% level of confidence. The margin of error is higher for subgroups.

Consumers are concerned about the products produced by agricultural biotechnology, but limited knowledge about GM foods makes their views uncertain and malleable. The majority of Americans have heard very little about GM foods and don’t know what to think about its safety, despite (or perhaps due to) having received little information about genetic modification.

The public’s uncertainty is coupled by a desire to have more information available to them about GM foods and opposition to the introduction of GM foods to the U.S. food supply. However, they remain extremely supportive of continued research into GM foods and look toward the regulatory agencies (primarily FDA and EPA) to provide them with accurate and trustworthy information.

Read the full report Public Sentiment About Genetically Modified Food (2001).

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