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Americans Remain in the Dark about GE Foods

The GMO Report Volume 6 Issue One
January 2006

www.non-gmoreport.com

Americans’ knowledge of genetically modified foods and animals continues to remain low, and many say that they are particularly uncomfortable with animal cloning, according to a
new survey released today by the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology.

The survey also found that people who are most informed about GM foods also oppose their introduction, and one-half of Americans oppose the introduction of GM foods to the
food supply. Using data from similar surveys released by the Pew Initiative on Food and
Biotechnology in March 2001, September 2003, and September 2004 for tracking purposes, the analysis of the current poll and opinion survey provides an in-depth understanding of consumers’ attitudes regarding GM foods.

Highlights include:

While nearly sixty-one percent of Americans say they are generally familiar with
science and technology, a majority of people polled (58 percent) remain unaware of GM foods, with 41 percent saying they have heard about GM food that is sold in grocery stores.

50 percent oppose introducing GM foods to the food supply, while a quarter of Americans (25 percent) favor its introduction. Feelings are stronger among the opposition: 33 percent of Americans strongly oppose the introduction of these foods, compared to 8 percent who strongly favor it.

Those who are most informed about GM foods also oppose their introduction into the food supply, with 54 percent opposed among those who have heard “a great deal” about
genetically modified foods, compared to 47 percent of those who have heard “some”, and 51 percent of those who have heard “not much” or “nothing at all” about genetically modified foods.

While knowledge of genetically modified foods has increased, fewer believe they have (25 percent) or are likely (40 percent) to eat genetically modified foods. Over half (57 percent) of those who have heard the most about genetically modified foods believe that
they have eaten genetically modified foods, and 30 percent of those who have heard some believe the same. Just 15 percent of those who have heard “nothing at all” about genetically modified foods believe they have eaten them.

Americans claim to have heard about animal cloning – and are uncomfortable with it. Sixty-six percent of American consumers polled indicated that they are largely uncomfortable with animal cloning.

In addition, less than a quarter (23 percent) of consumers believe food produced from animal clones is safe, while 43 percent believe it is unsafe; and one-third (34 percent) of
consumers do not have an opinion on the safety of animal cloning. View a summary of the
findings from the survey, as well as the statistical results at
http://pewagbiotech.org/research/2005update/.