Public support for genetically modified food is increasing, a report by the Food Standards Agency has suggested.
The British Social Attitudes survey examined people’s attitudes to emerging food technologies.
Experts studied attitudes to GM food, high-pressure food treatments, gas-filled packaging and hypothetical foods that have health benefits.
Compared with 1999, when the same questions were asked, fewer people now said they have a strong attitude to GM food.
Public support for GM food gradually increased over the period of the study from 10% in 1999 to 19% in 2008.
Researchers found that the more familiar people were with the names of food technologies the less concerned they were about them.
For example, 31% of people were concerned about eating food cooked in a microwave, whereas 57% were concerned about eating food from a magnetron – another name for the same type of oven.
The survey charts changes in British social, economic, political and moral values.
Research data is provided to government departments.