Food Engineering

Consumers support voluntary labeling for GMO

June 3, 2014

Consumers support voluntary labeling for GMOA new consumer survey issued by the international Food Information Council Foundation reveled a majority of American’s support FDA’s current policy of voluntary labeling for foods containing genetically modified ingredients.

According to the survey, 63 percent of respondents support the labeling policy of foods produced through biotechnology, though those who oppose, 19 percent, is higher than in 2012.

The Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food responded to the study condemning campaigns that continue to support mandatory GMO labeling which the coalition says mislead consumers.

“Here in the US, we base our food labeling requirements on science, not fear or political campaigns,” said Claire Parker, coalition spokeswoman in a statement. “This is just further proof that such policies are well accepted and are the best path forward to guarantee safe, affordable food for all Americans.”

The current policy requires labeling only “when biotechnology substantially changes the food’s nutritional content or composition, or when a potential safety issue (such as a food allergen) is identified,” according to the foundation.

The survey reported 28 percent of Americans are favorable toward plant biotechnology, with significantly more consumers this year, 28 percent, reporting being unfavorable than the 20 percent recorded in 2012.

“Years of legislation, ballot measures, and mischaracterization of food biotechnology have not affected overall support of FDA’s biotech labeling policy,” said David Schmidt, foundation president and CEO. “However, they have likely played a role in the modest increase we’re seeing in those who oppose it.”

The study was conducted between March 28 and April 7 and included 1000 participants.