About half of U.S. adults are wary of health effects of genetically modified foods
Published: April 1, 2020
Category: GMO News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
Americans have mixed views about genetically modified foods (GMOs) and their implications for society, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. About half of U.S. adults (51%) think GMOs are worse for people’s health than foods with no genetically modified ingredients, while 41% say GM foods have a neutral effect on health. Just 7% say they are better for health than other foods.
Views about the health effects of such foods grew more negative between 2016 and 2018 and have been steady since then, according to Pew Research Center surveys, the latest of which was conducted in October 2019.
As Americans think about the effects of GMOs, about three-quarters (74%) say it is at least fairly likely that GM foods will increase the global food supply. And 62% say GM foods are very or fairly likely to lead to more affordably priced food.
Indeed, many of those who consider genetically modified foods worse for health than conventionally grown foods see both positive and negative effects ahead for society. A strong majority of this group thinks GM foods are at least fairly likely to result in health problems for the population as a whole (88%) or create problems for the environment (77%). At the same time, half or more also say that such foods are at least fairly likely to help increase the global food supply (64%) or result in more affordably priced food (50%).
Those who believe that genetically modified foods are neither better nor worse for health than conventionally grown foods tend to expect positive benefits from GM foods for the global food supply (78% say an increase is very or fairly likely). But only about three-in-ten of this group thinks GM foods are at least fairly likely to result in health problems for the population as a whole (27%) or problems for the environment (30%). The 7% of U.S. adults who say that GM foods are better for health than other foods make up too small a sample for separate analysis.
Women are more inclined than men to believe that GM foods are worse for health (58% vs. 42%). Similarly, women are more likely to think GMOs are at least fairly likely to result in health problems for the population as a whole or to create problems for the environment.
Source: Pew Research Center
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