Survey: 88% Want Mandatory GMO Labeling

Discussion
Dec 04, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A study released by the Consumers’ Association of Canada yesterday says 88 percent of Canadian consumers believe there should be mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms
(GMO) in all food products.

Peggy Kirkeby, vice-president of issues and policy at the Consumers’ Association told the Globe and Mail of Toronto, “Mandatory labels on food products tell consumers how much
salt, fat, cholesterol and carbohydrates are in a particular product. Yet, when it comes to genetically modified ingredients, the federal government has said ‘no, they aren’t
going to give this information to Canadian consumers’.”

The Consumers’ Association said the study’s findings were consistent across various demographic segments. Decima research surveyed 2,000 consumers last month.

“It is very rare to get Canadians to overwhelmingly agree on a single issue, but the mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods is such an issue,” Ms. Kirkeby said. “There
is no doubt that Canadians want information about what is in their food. … Consumers simply just don’t trust the food industry to voluntarily provide the necessary information.”

The Globe and Mail reported 70 percent of processed foods sold in Canada contain GMOs.

Moderator’s Comment: How will continuing consumer objections to GMOs affect processed food manufacturers?

In Canada, as in the US, mandatory labeling of GMOs has been rejected because it would impose additional costs on products without improving consumer safety.
Both governments have determined that GMOs pose no health risk to consumers who eat products that contain them.

The Consumers’ Association of Canada is pressing for the new government, taking over next week in Ottawa, to take quick action on the GMO issue.
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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