NATIONAL PULSE – Canadians unclear on definition of “GMOs”, but want mandatory GMO labeling anyway

(Image: Angus Reid Institute)

Avoiding Genetically Modified Organisms is not a top priority for most when grocery shopping


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.

Key Findings:

  • 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.


Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (7453 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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