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Crop Biotech Update

2019 Eurobarometer Reveals Most Europeans Hardly Care About GMOs

June 26, 2019

A Eurobarometer survey on food safety reveals that in reality, most Europeans hardly care about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The survey reports that ‘genetically modified ingredients in food and drink' have a comparatively low level of concern associated with them (27%), being number 8 of the 15 specified concerns on the list. The Special Eurobarometer was commissioned by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to get insights on Europeans' overall interest in food safety.

The survey's main observations are the following:

  • In reality, most Europeans hardly care about GMOs  Even when prompted with a list of topics starting with GMOs, a mere 27% are concerned by GMOs. Only in one-quarter of the member states, this level is over one-third. The regularly promoted narrative that "90% of Europeans are concerned about GMOs" is therefore bogus.
  • Concern about GMOs has more than halved in nine years. The level of reported concern has decreased enormously from 66% in 2010 to 27% in 2019. A very significant reduction occurred in each of the 28 Member States, and in nine, there was even a reduction by a factor of three or more. 
  • Genome editing is the least of all concerns in the survey. Out of the 15 topics in the survey, genome editing is the one people are clearly the least concerned about (4%), and it is also the topic that people are least aware of (22%).

The survey also reveals that scientists enjoy the highest trust ratings (82%) in Europe. The EU-wide survey was conducted by the Kantar network in the 28 EU Member States in April 2019 where 27,655 respondents from different social and demographic groups were interviewed face-to-face at home in their mother tongue.

For more details, read the news articles in and EFSA