Their opinions aren't driven by politics or income, researchers say
By Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Dec. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Americans are split on the value of organic foods and concerns about genetically modified (GM) foods, a new poll reveals.
The Pew Research Center poll of 1,480 adults nationwide found that 55 percent said organically grown produce is healthier than conventionally grown produce, while 41 percent said there's no difference.
Nearly four out of 10 respondents said GM foods are worse for health than other foods, while almost half said there is no difference. Ten percent said GM foods are healthier, the researchers found.
Genetically modified foods come from plants, animals or microorganisms in which their DNA has been altered by technology.
"The data suggest that people's divisions are linked to their interest in food issues and how they think food consumption ties to their well-being," said Cary Funk, lead author and associate director of research at Pew.
"Their views are not driven by their political attitudes, their level of education, their household income, or where they live," she noted in a center news release.
Some of the other survey results:
The survey also found that 18 percent of respondents are focused on healthy and nutritious eating. These people are especially likely to believe that organic produce is healthier than regular produce.
Many respondents lack trust in scientists studying GM foods, the survey found.
More than one-third "say scientists do not understand the health effects of GM at all or not too well," Funk said. Meanwhile, "just 19 percent of Americans say scientists understand the health effects of GM foods 'very well.' "
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers healthy eating tips.
SOURCE: Pew Research Center, news release, Dec. 1, 2016
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