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Majority of US Consumers Oppose Frankenfoods

Farm News from Cropchoice
An alternative news service for American farmers
http://www.cropchoice.com

6/13/00
Study Concludes Biotech Food Losing Ground with Consumers
-------------------------------------------
(13 June - Cropchoice News) -- New numbers on consumer acceptance of
biotech are out. In a survey released late last week, market research
firm Angus Reid Group says biotech foods are losing ground in the US and
abroad. A majority of American consumers now see biotech food negatively,
according to the study. Reid says "Americans are growing more
disenchanted with the concept [of GMO food]. Forty-five percent of
Americans held a negative view when polled by the Angus Reid Group in
1998, compared to 51 per cent earlier this year." The majority of
American and Candian consumers surveyed said they'd like to learn more
about biotech.

The study also polled consumers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France,
Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Like the US, in 7 of the 8
foreign countries surveyed, the majority were worried about biotech. In
Canada, the number concerned has jumped from 45% two years ago to 59% this
year. Ironically it was in Brazil, which is benefitting from increased
demand for its non-GMO soybeans, where biotech was viewed most positively.
Only 45% of Brazilian consumers were worried about biotech, compared to
71%, 73%, and 82% in France, Germany, and Japan, respectively.

According to Joanna Karman of Angus Reid, "Genetic modification has become
one of the top three issues facing the agriculture and food industry in
many countries, ranking up there with pesticide use and topped only by the
future of agriculture as it relates to farmers and loss of the family
farm." Karman says American and Canadian consumers "see themselves as
shouldering the risks, but not reaping the benefits. It should be no
surprise that there is a pushback. Consumers are becoming less confident
and less comfortable with this technology."

Reid surveyed 5000 consumers in the study. More information on the study
can be found at the company's website, www.angusreid.com.

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