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European consumers agree that the EU is too cautious about GMOs

The Consumer Choice Center commissioned the market research company Savanta to survey European consumers on four different EU policy-making areas: Consumer Choice and Government; Innovation & Sharing Economy; Agriculture & Food; and Science & Energy.

In February 2022, 500 people were surveyed in Belgium on their views on innovation, nuclear energy, agriculture, sharing economy, and government intervention in the economy.

Maria Chaplia, the Research Manager at the Consumer Choice Center, said: “The polling results are encouraging. European consumers overwhelmingly appreciate consumer choice. A wide array of agricultural regulations put forward by the EU and member states are at odds with what European consumers want.”

Key findings:

  • 67% of European consumers would like the European Union to embrace technologies that make food more affordable.
  • 59% of European consumers trusted farmers to use crop protection products adequately to make safe food.
  • 33% of European consumers agree that the EU is too cautious about genetically modified organisms.
  • 59% of consumers interviewed agree that the European Union often over regulates at the expense of European Consumers.
  • 73% of consumers think that the European Union should be more open to innovative solutions.

“The EU shouldn’t restrict farmers’ freedom to use the preferred crop protection tools to avoid these unintended consequences. Alternatively, the EU should consider legalizing genetic modification. European consumers trust farmers to choose crop protection tools to make food safe. Despite popular rhetoric, there is no substantial scientific evidence of the health and environmental risks ascribed to GM products,” said Chaplia.

“The war in Ukraine, one of the largest wheat exporters in the world, threatens European and global food security. At such a challenging time, the EU cannot simply afford to pursue expensive organic ambitions. Now is the time to embrace innovation over unjustified precaution,” concluded Chaplia.

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