Summary of US Consumer Polls on GE Foods
Survey of Consumer Polls on Genetically Engineered Foods

Center for Food Safety

PHONE (202) 547-9359 FAX (202) 547-9429

Below is a compilation of poll results on GE foods that we have been able
to locate. Poll results are listed in chronological order.


1. 81% of Americans think the government should require genetically
engineered food products to be labeled. 89% of Americans think the
government should require pre-market safety testing of genetically
engineered foods before they are marketed, as with any food additive.
(MSNBC Live Vote Results, January, 2000).

2. Over 80% of Americans support the right of the European Union and Japan
to require the labeling of genetically engineered food imported from the
United States. (Univ. of Md. Center for the Study of Policy Attitudes, et
al., November, 1999)

3. 92% of Americans support legal requirements that all genetically
engineered foods be labeled. (BSMG Worldwide for the Grocery Manufacturers
of America, September 1999).

4. Almost 70% of Americans think the U.S. government should require more
extensive labeling of ingredients in genetically engineered food. (Edelman
Public Relations Worldwide in Bloomberg News, September, 1999)

5. 81% of American consumers believe GE food should be labeled. 58% say
that if GE foods were labeled they would avoid purchasing them. (Time
magazine, January, 1999).
6. 93% of women surveyed say they want all GE food clearly labeled.
(National Federation of Women's Institutes, 1998).

7. 93% of Americans who responded to a Novartis survey agree that GE foods
should be labeled as such. 73% of those agree strongly with the position.
(Novartis, February 1997). 25% say they would be likely to avoid labeled
GE foods.

8. 84% of 604 New Jersey residents polled want mandatory labeling of GE
fruits and vegetables, 60% would consider buying fresh vegetables if they
were labeled as having been produced by genetic engineering and 76% favor
farmers voluntarily putting labels on their produce that say the items were
not genetically engineered. (USDA, July, 1995).

9. 94% of 1,900 consumers polled believed that milk should be labeled to
distinguish milk from rbGH-treated cows, 10% of milk drinkers say they buy
their products from non-treated cows and more than 74% of consumers say
they are concerned about the possible discovery of negative long-term
effects on human health associated with rbGH. (USDA, March-June, 1995).

10. 92% of 36,000 polled say they want GE food labeled, with a 94%
pro-labeling response from women and a 84% pro-labeling response from men.
(Vance Publishing, in Food R&D February, 1995).

11. 81% of 8,000 subscribers to PRODIGY Internet service think that milk
containers should be labeled to indicate whether or not the milk comes from
cows treated with rbGH. 92% of women; 78% of men (PRODIGY Internet company,
March 1994).

12. 88% of respondents favor mandatory labeling from rbGH-treated cows, 9%
oppose mandatory labeling and 3% are unsure (St. Norbert College and Wisc.
Pub. Radio, February, 1994).

13. 85% of those polled think that labeling of GE food is "very important"
(USDA, 1992).

14. In an FDA sponsored survey in 1992, 8 state attorneys asked the FDA to
require mandatory labeling of all GE foods.

15. 77% of North Carolinians polled feel that producing more nutritious
food is the most desirable use of genetic engineering, 80% of those polled
say too little regulation of GE poses serious health risks to humans and
67% feel that GE will give large scale farmers an unfair advantage over
small scale farmers (July, 1989).

16. Labeling of dairy products from rbGH-treated cows was favored in all
the following studies:
University of Wisconsin (68%) 1990
Dairy Today (81%) 1989
Virginia Polytechnic Institute (85%) 1990
University of Missouri (95%) 1990
Johanna Dairy (98%) 1989



17. 83% to 94% of Canadians polled say they want labeling on foods that are
produced using biotechnology, depending on how the question is worded
(OPTIMA, 1994).

18. 78% of those polled in England want genetically modified foods to be
clearly labeled (London Evening Standard, 10 February, 1999).

19. 74% of respondents think that GE products should be clearly labeled
with breakdown by country as follows: Belgium - 74%; Denmark - 85%; Germany
- 72%; Greece - 81%; Spain - 69%; France - 78%; Ireland - 61%; Italy - 67%;
Luxembourg - 67%; Netherlands - 79%; Austria - 73%; Portugal - 62%; Finland
- 82%; Sweden - 81%; United Kingdom - 82% (EUROBAROMETER, 1997).

20. 78% of Swedes, 77% of French, 65% of Italians and Dutch, 63% of Danes
and 53% of British say they would not to eat GE food (MORI, 9 January, 1997).

21. 68% of Europeans surveyed think genetically engineered food should be
banned, 95% want it labeled (Gallup, December, 1996).


22. 89% of 1,378 people polled say that a genetically engineered tomato
should be labeled, 65% think labeled engineered tomatoes would be a "good
idea" or "very good idea" while 65% think an unlabeled engineered tomato
would be a "bad idea" or "very bad idea" (Australian Dept. of Industry,
July, 1995).

New Zealand

23. 43% of those polled are "worried a lot"and 17% are considerably worried
about eating GE food. 12% "would not worry at all" about eating GE food
(AGB MaNair April, 1997).

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