A new online Canadian survey has found that Canadians have mixed feelings about genetically-modified foods.
The good news in the survey of 1,049 people is that 56 per cent believe that genetically-modified (GM) food is thoroughly tested before consumers buy it at the store. Only 16 per cent disagreed.
However, while 38 per cent believe that GM food is safe to eat, a surprising 35 per cent said that GM food is not safe to eat. About 28 per cent had no opinion on the safety of GM food. That’s despite the fact that they are probably eating GM food regularly. About 90 per cent of all crops grown in Canada are genetically modified and about 80 per cent of all food sold has at least one GM ingredient, said Dalhousie University dean of management Sylvain Charlebois, who is also the author of the study.
The survey also found that 52 per cent were not sure if they had ever purchased a plant-based GM product. But, funny you should ask, 89 per cent supported mandatory labelling of genetically-modified food and ingredients.
“People who are supportive of biotechnology would argue that there is little risk (from GM food), and it’s true — from a food safety perspective, the science is very clear,” Charlebois said. He told Farmers Forum that the “science is overwhelmingly conclusive on risk, no question.”
However, he favours labelling GM food because he says the food debate today includes the social-economics of food and consumers want GM labelling, as is the case for most GM foods in Europe.