GMOs: We'll take them if they're tasty

Apple And Banana

People might be more willing to accept genetically modified foods if they thought the food tasted better. This is one of the findings from a recent survey of the general public, farmers and teachers by the Commonwealth's biotechnology coordination agency, Biotechnology Australia. The survey found that:

  • about 50 per cent of the population surveyed who were aware of biotechnology and gene technology considered it would improve our way of life over the next 20 years; 20 per cent thought it would make things worse and about 25 per cent had not heard of biotechnology
  • community acceptance of biotechnology varied depending on the products involved, with most concern revolving around the genetic modification of food; specifically most people would wear clothes made from genetically modified fibre (81 per cent), use genetically modified medicines (64 per cent) or buy genetically modified fruits and vegetables if they tasted better
  • respondents favoured labelling genetically modified foods to provide information about technological processes and the reason for the modification. But they also accepted that very detailed labelling might be impractical and costly.

Biotechnology Australia was established by the Federal Government in May 1999. The survey involved some 1,800 respondents.