Australian survey: more labels, less GM

More than one half of consumers living in Australia would be more hesitant knowingly to buy a food product derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This conclusion was published by market researchers Newspoll after a recent telephone poll of 1,200 people.

Two per cent of the Australian population would prefer GM products and forty-two per cent expressed indifference to the issue. Fifty-four per cent of those polled would be inclined not to buy. While ninety per cent of all responders desired labels that identify GM ingredients in food, men were generally less opposed than women to food products containing GMOs.

The poll was commissioned by Greenpeace, which advocates “stringent safety testing” and the labelling of GM food in Australia while pointing to “glaring loopholes” in Australian labelling laws.

Referring to a lack of consumer choice, Greenpeace representative Michelle Sheather cited the example that produce from animals fed with genetically modified canola, currently grown in the states of Victoria or New South Wales, would not be subject to GMO identification on the market. In response to the poll, Ms Sheather inferred a clear position of Australians towards GMO labelling and against GM food in general.