Is it safe to eat genetically modified foods? Fewer than two-in-five Canadians say yes, according to a new public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute.
Dig a little deeper, however, and it becomes clear that most Canadians lack an understanding of what, exactly, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are or how they are produced.
Asked to rate their personal knowledge of GMOs, most Canadians (60%) say they “know a little bit about them,” a self-assessment borne out in their responses to knowledge-testing questions on the topic.
Despite this, the vast majority of Canadians (83%) say at least some GMOs should be subject to mandatory labeling in grocery stores, though the consensus is somewhat less clear on which types of GMOs ought to be subject to the rules.
Four-in-ten Canadians (39%) say it’s ‘generally safe’ to eat genetically modified foods. Another three-in-ten (28%) say it is generally unsafe, while the rest (33%) are unsure
More than eight-in-ten (83%) say at least one type of GMOs should be subject to mandatory labeling, but responses vary depending on the type of genetic modification in question
As a shopping consideration, GMOs are relatively low on the consumer radar. Fewer than one-in-five (19%) place “free of GMOs” among the three most important things they look for when food shopping.