- As the food industry is well aware, questions and concerns continue to be raised surrounding the use of genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients in the food supply. Although no reliable scientific evidence suggests that GM foods are any less safe than their conventional counterparts, many consumer advocacy groups and consumers have continued to demand increased transparency about GM foods on the shelves. Vermont’s GM labeling mandate — which is set to take effect in July 2016, but which is currently being challenged by food industry groups — is an example of the type of “right-to-know” legislation that many consumers support.
- Recent consumer research surveys involving thousands of participants in the United States and other major markets suggest that a majority of consumers may harbor fundamental misconceptions about the safety and quality of GM foods. According to one survey by Health Focus International, 87% of consumers worldwide believe that non-GM foods are either “somewhat” or “a lot” healthier than GM products. 63% of consumers responded that GM foods are “less safe to eat,” and 55% believe GM crops are “worse for the environment.”
- The survey results highlight the uphill battle that the food industry faces in trying to fight mandatory GM labeling initiatives while unfounded consumer concerns about the health, safety, and environmental effects of GM foods continue to proliferate.
In case you missed it, click here to view Keller and Heckman’s complimentary 30-minute webinar on the current and future status of GM labeling in the U.S.