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Americans divided over organic and genetically modified foods

Staff Writer |
Americans are split on the value of organic foods and concerns about genetically modified (GM) foods, a new poll reveals.

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The Pew Research Center poll of 1,480 adults nationwide found that 55 percent said organically grown produce is healthier than conventionally grown produce, while 41 percent said there's no difference.

Nearly four out of 10 respondents said GM foods are worse for health than other foods, while almost half said there is no difference. Ten percent said GM foods are healthier, the researchers found.

Genetically modified foods come from plants, animals or microorganisms in which their DNA has been altered by technology.

Thirty-four percent said some of the food they eat is organic. Six percent said most of it is.

Women care more than men about the issue of GM foods - 20 percent versus 12 percent, respectively. And they're more pessimistic than men about the effect genetically modified foods may have on society.

Broken down by age, 18- to 49-year-olds were more likely than older adults to consider organic produce better for health. Similarly, many more young adults said GM food is worse for health than non-GM food, compared with those 65 and older.

Among those who care deeply about the issue of genetically modified foods, three-quarters consider GM foods worse for health, compared with 17 percent of those with little or no concern about GM foods.

The survey also found that 18 percent of respondents are focused on healthy and nutritious eating. These people are especially likely to believe that organic produce is healthier than regular produce.


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