Public ‘confused’ over GM crops

Consumers want more information about genetically modified crops, reveals a study.

Research conducted on behalf of the Food Standards Agency found different levels of understanding about GM food.

Attitudes to GM food are complex and the risks and benefits of GM food are weighed up differently depending on the factors that underpin views, it found.

The study, Exploring Attitudes to GM Food, was carried out by the National Centre for Social Research.

It found some public trust in official sources of information, but also a wish to know more about the interests of those involved in the GM food debate.

“In terms of information content, people wanted to know more about the extent to which GM food is available,” says the report.

In addition further information was requested about the potential long-term social and personal impacts, and the potential consequences for animal welfare.

Focus group participants wanted clear and accessible information displayed in a range of places, including shops.

“There was a lack of knowledge about how labelling and regulation currently works and a view that the current system is confusing,” the report says.

“There was widespread support for labelling of all GM food products, including where GM is used as a processing aid or in animal feed.”

The agency said it was committed to giving consumers accurate information about GM technology based on scientific evidence which would help people make informed choices about the food they eat.


See more