52% of people would be less likely to consume a product if it was revealed to be genetically modified, reveals survey

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8th January 2020 16:49 - Food

52% of people would be less likely to consume a product if it was revealed to be genetically modified: A survey looking at the public perceptions of GM foods has revealed that over half the participents questioned would be less likely to eat or drink a product if they found it to have been genetically modified.

The survey of 1,139 UK adults revealed many people still have concerns around the safety of GM products. The research found that around a quarter of respondents believe that at least one of the outbreaks of 'Mad Cow Disease' which occured in the 1990s, the 2000s foot and mouth outbreak, the outbreak of E.Coli inn Wales in 2005 and the horse meat scandal in 2013 were linked to GM foods, with 24% revealing a belief that every example listed was caused by Genetically Modified produce. 

The survey also revealed that more than a quarter of respondents thought that eating GM products could result in a person developing cancer. At the other end of the scale 4% said they believe GM products can help prevent a serious illness, while 46% admitted they did not know and 23% thought GM products would have no effect either way. 

When asked about how much they knew about the ingredients added to their food,  more than half (59%) said they are 'quite aware' with a fifth (21%) reporting they are 'very aware'. 

Scott Jones, General Manager at Northern Connectors, the specialist distributor of industrial components behind the research commented: 

"Negative perceptions of GM foods have festered for many years, as many people favour items that have not been altered in any way. Of course, genetic modification can have a number of benefits, so it is important that public concerns are alleviated.”

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