What do Europeans think about GMOs?

Most recent figures show that levels of acceptance and of opposition towards GMOs in Europe have changed quite substantially. The majority of citizens does not feel strongly about the technology and it is a rather small and very vocal minority which is really opposed to it. According to a special 2010 Eurobarometer survey on consumers’ perceptions of food-related risks, only 8% of Europeans spontaneously say they are worried about GM in food. The young generation is even more open-minded. According to a 2013 survey, a majority of young Germans (53%) do not mind if food production involves genetic engineering, while among young Brits only 11% said they were concerned about GM food (FSA 2014 biannual public attitude tracker). Our buying behaviour regarding genetically modified foods is not gene’ophobic either: when given the choice, people buy it, according to the EU Research Project CONSUMERCHOICE (2008). However, what often comes back in the surveys is that there is a general lack of information about the scientifically proven safety of GM food. What is often missing in the debate are facts and education on science.  

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