Consumers support the use of biotechnology
June 3, 2010
WASHINGTON — Consumers support the use of food biotechnology when they consider the potential benefits for reducing the impact of food and food production on the environment, according to a survey from the International Food Information Council.
In fact, according to the “Consumer Perceptions of Food Technology” survey, 77% of consumers would be likely to purchase food produced through biotechnology due to the ability to reduce pesticide use, and 80% of consumers would be likely to purchase bread, crackers, cookies, cereal or pasta products containing wheat that was grown using plant biotechnology if they were produced using sustainable practices to feed more people using fewer resources.
“These results suggest that the importance of the impact of food production on the environment is here to stay for consumers,” said Marianne Smith Edge, IFIC’s interim vice-president for nutrition and food safety. “Over the last several years we’ve seen the overall awareness of sustainability and environmental issues continue to grow.”
The survey found growing more food on less land so valuable land is not destroyed, reducing the amount of pesticides, and using plants that use water more efficiently are the most important aspects of sustainable crop production to consumers.
The survey also found 7 in 10 consumers are somewhat or very confident in the safety of the U.S. food supply. The majority of consumers may not think of additional information they would like to see on food labels with 63% of consumers agreeing with the Food and Drug Administration’s food labeling policy.
Overall, 69% of Americans said they have heard or read at least a little about biotechnology, and this rate is consistent with previous years.