ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
Date:  12 December 2000


No wonder they don't want them labelled!  So much for US consumer acceptance.

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Women are less likely than men to support genetic modification of food
11 December  2000

NEW YORK (BW HealthWire) - Even though most of the food available in supermarkets is genetically altered, few Americans feel very informed about these foods and many are concerned about their risks, according to the Oxygen/Markle Pulse ( poll released today.

The poll results were announced by Cheryl Mills, Oxygen's Senior Vice President of Corporate Policy and Public Programming.

Among the poll's findings:

-    Men and women differ in their feelings toward genetically modified food

-    Only half of women surveyed (50%) would eat genetically modified foods,compared to 71%
      of men.

-    Fewer women (37%) than men (59%) would give genetically modified foods to their children,
      and 47% of women say they are willing to pay more for fruits and vegetables that have not
      been genetically altered, compared with 35% of men.

-    Americans do not feel that they know enough about genetically modified food.

-    Only 18% of Americans say they feel "very informed" about the benefits and risks of
      genetically modified foods.

-    An additional 46% feel "somewhat informed."

-    Americans want genetically modified foods labeled and tested, but they're split over who
      should be responsible for it.

-    85% support the labeling of genetically modified foods, and 88% support testing. However,
      there is some dispute over who should do the testing:

    56% think the FDA should have the main responsibility for testing;
    29% believe it should lie with an independent, non-governmental third party.

-    Americans are evenly divided over whether genetically modified foods are

-    43% of Americans believe genetically modified foods are just as healthy as organic foods.
      40% believe genetically modified foods are less healthy.

Cheryl Mills stated, "Nearly two-thirds of the food for sale in America's supermarkets is genetically altered. But very few Americans know which foods they are, and what effect those foods can have on their health. This lack of knowledge, combined with a lack of uniform labeling and testing, is causing many people to worry about what they eat and what they feed their children."

Additional results from the Oxygen/Markle Pulse are available at The Oxygen/ Markle Pulse is a joint project of Oxygen Media and the Markle Foundation.

For this poll, Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates conducted a nationally representative telephone survey of 2,248 adult men and women between April 20 and May 10, 2000. The sampling error for adult women, adult men and teenagers is 3.1%, 4.4%, and 4.4% respectively, at 95% confidence level.

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