The most recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center reveals that American consumers have divided over the benefit of eating organic foods and possible hazards of genetically modified (GM) foods.
1,480 adults nationwide took part in the poll and it turned out that 55 percent considered organically grown food more nutritious and much healthier than conventionally grown produce, whereas 41 percent saw no difference.
Four out of 10 respondents believe GM foods have negative impact on health, while almost half replied there is no difference. Ten percent consider GM foods healthier than other foods. Genetically modified foods refer to plants, animals or microorganisms with DNA altered by technology.
The data gathered imply that people’s attitude to GM is closely connected to their interest in food issues and how they think food consumption relates to their health and well-being. Their opinions are not influenced by their political views, their level of education, income, or the area where they live.
Also the survey revealed that thirty-four percent of respondents said only some of the food they eat is organic while six percent consumed most of it.
Women were more conscious about the issue of GM foods than men -- 20 percent versus 12 percent, accordingly. And they expressed greater concern than men about the possible negative consequences of consuming genetically modified foods the society may face.
An interesting fact is that more young adults aged 18- 49 consider organic food better for health than older adults. Among those respondents who took the issue of genetically modified foods seriously, three-quarters said that GM foods are really bad for health, and only 17 percent expressed little or no concern about the issue.
According to the survey 18 percent of people asked find healthy eating important and they are more inclined to believe that organic produce is healthier than regular one.
At the same time most respondents had little trust in scientists who research GM foods. More than one-third believe that scientists now do not understand all the scope of the health effects of GM and only 19 percent of Americans think scientists know about the health effects of GM foods well enough.