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Study finds Vermont GMO labels mislead consumers

by Ben Nuelle LISTEN: World of Agriculture 7-8-16

A recent survey shows the Vermont GMO label misleads consumers.

An online survey of 1,665 primary shoppers examined consumer understanding of five common on-package food labels. Approximately 73 percent of consumers indicated they would less likely buy foods bearing one of the required on package GMO labels.

Joel Vaslow is Chief Operating Officer at MSR Group who conducted the study.

“What we discovered is GMO labeling actually discourages purchasing and makes people perceive with a GMO label on it is less safe, less healthful, and manufactured by people who don’t care as much about their customers.”

He says participants younger than 34 were the most mislead.

“Most believe GMO labeling means the product is less safe, healthful, and even worse for the environment. When you go up in the age bracket, folks seem to have a somewhat better understanding and a less negative outlook on GMO labeling.”

Vaslow says the survey simply asked consumers what a GMO was.

“When we just asked consumers to describe what is meant by genetic engineering, the majority of folks actually had a negative connotation of that in an expressed terms like ‘fake’, ‘synthetic’ or ‘unnatural’. Some even used terms like ‘Franken food’ to describe it in a negative way.”

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