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Survey Finds Majority of Consumers Consider GMOs, but Where Are the Labels?

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Consumers have grown increasingly conscious of which food products they purchase and consume, according to a new survey by Cone Communications. The 2014 Food Issues Trend Tracker reports that most consumers consider a number of factors when shopping for food, including food safety, nutrition, and sustainability. Other significant factors include animal welfare, ecofriendliness, and genetically modified organisms.

Two-thirds of participants reported considering whether an item contains GMOs when purchasing food. But although the majority of Americans keep an eye out for food labeled as non-GMO, 55 percent of consumers are unclear about whether GMOs are "good" or "bad." Perhaps this is why 84 percent of shoppers want companies to educate the public about GMOs, in addition to disclosing and labeling all products containing GMOs.

Among consumers actively seeking out non-GMO products, two-fifths believed that non-GMO foods are inherently healthier. One-third of non-GMO shoppers expressed concern about GMOs' effects on the environment, and one-quarter question the ethics behind GMO usage.

The Food Issues Trend Tracker includes a number of other interesting findings beyond GMOs. The study found that 93 percent of consumers consider health, nutrition, and food safety when shopping for food. Seventy-seven percent of shoppers also consider sustainability an important factor when making purchases, while 74 percent factor in whether a product was made locally, and 69 percent consider animal welfare.   
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