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Continuing Opposition To GM Foods


Continuing Opposition To GM Foods

The British public is still strongly opposed to Genetically Modified (GM) foods, according to new research by the MORI Social Research Institute.

The Government is entering a consultation process to decide how the UK responds to the controversial subject of GM food. It does so, however, with the public firmly opposed to the introduction of GM Foods - more than half the public (56%) opposes GM food, compared to one in seven (14%) who support it.

Opposition is remarkably stable across all political perspectives; 56% of intending Labour voters are against GM, as are 57% of intending Conservative voters and 60% of Liberal Democrat voters. Women are more likely to be opposed than men (61% versus 51%), but there is little difference by household income. Opposition is not a luxury for the affluent; 56% of households with a gross annual income of less than £17,500 oppose GM, as do 60% of households with an income of more than £50,000.

However, while there are very few active supporters of GM, one in four (25%) are neutral. Therefore, public opinion is spilt three ways; the majority opposed, a significant minority neutral, and only a small minority advocates.

Philip Downing, head of environmental research at MORI Social Research Institute, notes "The public is yet to be persuaded about GM food and shows little sign of softening its opposition, which has been relatively stable ever since the issue came into the media spotlight".

The result is part of MORI's own environment research, reported in full in the MORI Environment Research Bulletin. Other results include strong support for a 10p tax on supermarket plastic bags, huge support for renewables over nuclear power, and divided opinions on extending congestion charging to other UK towns and cities.

How strongly, if at all, would you say you support or oppose Genetically Modified food?

%

Strongly support 3

Tend to support 11

Neither support nor oppose 25

Tend to oppose 26

Strongly oppose 30

Don't know 5

For a copy of the MORI Environment Bulletin, contact Philip Downing or visit the MORI website at http://www.mori.com/environment

Genetically modified food

From The Economist print edition

Countries due to join the European Union in 2004 take a dim view of genetically modified (GM) foods, according to a poll released this week by the European Commission. Its Eurobarometer survey gauged the attitudes of more than 12,000 people in EU candidate countries towards biotechnology. More than 80% of those surveyed thought that science would improve their lives, but 68%, on average, reject GM food, with more than half believing the stuff to be positively dangerous.

THE EFF! ECTS OF INFORMATION ON CONSUMER DEMAND FOR BIOTECH FOODS: EVIDENCE FROM EXPERIMENTAL AUCTIONS April 2003 Economic Research Service, USDA, Technical Bulletin No. (TB1903) 32 pp Abebayehu Tegene, Wally Huffman, Matthew Rousu, and Jason Shogren For complete report go to: http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/tb1903/tb1903.pdf


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