Livestock 2013: Survey shows consumer resistance to GMs

Only 21% of consumers are willing to support GM food, according to a YouGov survey, commissioned by Barclays and presented at Livestock 2013.

The research by the bank follows a Farmers Weekly / Barclays survey (News, 14 June) which showed 61% of farmers are in favour of growing GMs.

Martin Redfearn, head of agriculture at Barclays, said, while the bank doesn’t have a view on the use of GMs, it would be beneficial for everyone to reach a consensus.

“Barclays believes the industry needs to progress it, one way or another,” he said.

In the YouGov poll conducted in June, 43% of consumers were completely against the idea of the government promoting GM technology and 67% would prefer to buy “conventional” food.

“This research shows how important the issue of GM still is,” said Mr Redfearn.

“The research shows that consumers are still against the idea of GM crops and most recently the government has clearly taken an interest in the use of GM crops.

“It will be up to all those involved, from the scientist and farmer through to the retailer and consumer to communicate the advantages and disadvantages of this technology to see whether it will – or will not – become common practice in the UK and the rest of Europe.”

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