Biotech Updates

Research Says Americans Remain Divided on Perceptions of GMO Labeling

July 6, 2016

According to the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation's 2016 Food and Health Survey, Americans remain divided in their perceptions of GMO labeling and their use in the food supply. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that GMO foods be labeled only if they have substantial differences from their non-GMO counterparts (such as whether there are nutritional differences or potential allergens). Yet there is a lot of buzz about expanding this policy to apply to all GMO foods.

According to the survey, uncertainty is high on the issue, with 28 percent of the population unsure as to whether the current policy should be expanded to label all GMOs. Nationally, 44 percent of Americans show support for an expanded GMO labeling policy that would be applied to all foods containing GMOs.

When asked about their impression of the use of GMOs in the food supply, the responses also varied. Fifty one percent (51%) of Americans are either unsure or had no preference for their use. Despite the 44 percent of consumers who support expanded GMO labeling, few are actually avoiding GMOs or seeking out non-GMO labels. More shoppers either are not sure or do not express a preference about avoiding or consuming GMOs (42 percent). Only about one-third (34 percent) are trying to avoid GMOs.

In an open-ended question asking whether there is information not currently on food labels consumers would like to see, only 3 percent said they wanted GMO labeling, suggesting that it is not a top-of-mind issue for the vast majority of Americans.

More details are available at the IFIC website.