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Crop Biotech Update

UF/IFAS Study Says People Who Know About GM Foods Agree with Science that They are Safe

November 16, 2016

A new study at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) shows that people who know a lot about genetically modified (GM) foods are inclined to agree with the scientific consensus that such foods are safe to eat. However, those who know plenty about global warming are cautious about the science that says humans cause the phenomenon.

Brandon McFadden, author of the study, and a UF/IFAS assistant professor of food and resource economics wanted to know more about the reasons for the gap between public opinion and scientific consensus. He surveyed 955 people to measure their actual and perceived knowledge about GM food and human-caused global warming.

Among the questions that McFadden asked are those trying to find out participants' knowledge about genetically modified food. He asked "true/false" questions such as: "Ordinary tomatoes do not contain genes while genetically modified tomatoes do." Only 31.9 percent said that was true. There were questions about global warming, including: "True or false: The greenhouse effect is the same thing as global warming." Some 45 percent said this was true.

For more information, read the news release at the UF/IFAS website.