Walk through most supermarkets these days and you’re bound to see a few non-GMO food labels. Sadly, those labels can’t do it all, and it’s been far more difficult getting labels on foods that do include GMO ingredients. And according to a new survey of American mothers, public opinion over labeling could hit major food brands in a big way.
Nearly 70 percent of moms—who generally hold the buying power when it comes to food shopping—were less likely to purchase products from a major household brand when told that the company funneled millions of dollars into campaigns to deny consumers the right to know about GMOs. According to the survey, performed by Lake Research Partners, almost 93 percent of mothers said they want those brands to label GMOs and 80 percent want them to stop funding anti-GMO labeling efforts.
Other recent surveys have echoed these sentiments. In another recent national poll by the Mellman Group, nearly 90 percent of Americans said it was important to know if the foods they purchased contained genetically engineered ingredients.
Are GMO foods safe?
Still, the battle for and against labeling rages on. One of the biggest sticking points is over the perceived safety of GMO foods.
Proponents claim that GMO foods have the potential to help solve world hunger by creating hardier crops, drastically lowering prices, and creating crops that can use fewer pesticides. But critics have expressed great concern about potential health ramifications, since there hasn’t been much testing on long-term effects. The point is that there’s just not enough research on either side of the issue to determine what’s safe and what’s not, so most consumers want to arm themselves with enough information to make an informed buying decision.
And there seems to be a huge discrepancy when it comes to the image of GMO ingredients and just how “safe” they are. In a 2015 survey by the Pew Foundation, 88 percent scientists (from the American Association for the Advancement of Science) believe that genetically modified foods are “generally safe” compared to just 37 percent of American adults.
Sadly, on July 23, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a controversial act (dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know, or DARK, Act) which would keep states from issuing mandatory labeling laws for foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Read more about how to take action when it comes to GMO food labeling.