27 November 1998

Document leak hits Monsanto

AGROCHEMICAL company Mon- santo unwittingly gave environmental campaigners a boost last week when a leaked document describing a collapse in public support for genetically modified organisms fell into the hands of Greenpeace.

The document contained details of a Monsanto survey on consumer attitudes to GMOs in Britain.

It said that, despite spending £1m on an advertising campaign promoting GMOs this year, consumer reticence towards GM foods was "growing, and possibly growing at an accelerated pace".

Figures from the companys survey showed the number of consumers who deemed GM foods unacceptable had risen from 35% to 51% in the past 12 months.

A third of the public was now extremely negative towards GMOs and only 25% saw GM ingredients as acceptable, it stated.

The document quoted a company official who said: "It is evident that there has been a collapse of public support.

"At each point in this project we keep thinking that we have reached the low point and that public thinking will stabilise, but apparently that has not happened yet." &#42