Most Europeans reject GMO foods

Just over 61% of Europeans would not buy produce that has been genetically modified, according to a new survey on European shopping habits.

The greatest objections to GM food were in Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Poland, according to the survey Where people shop – Europe by Healey & Baker (H&B). On average, only 13% of Europeans said that they would buy genetically modified produce. Though this proportion was higher in Great Britain, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Hungary.

In total, 27% either did not know how they felt (9%) or were indifferent(18%). The greatest indifference was found in Belgium and Portugal, which both scored 27%, while the most ‘Don’t Knows’ were in The Netherlands (16%) and the Czech Republic (14%).

Organic food

Some 57% of respondents said they would prefer to buy organically grown fruit and vegetables. However, H&B point out that these figures “have to be treated with extreme caution” as the statement has been interpreted in different ways across Europe.

Taken at face value, there would appear to be a strong interest in organic produce in central Europe. However, says H&B, in the case of central European countries, the concept of organic produce is not recognised, nor is the produce available. The survey notes that the concept has been interpreted as meaning food free from contamination with industrial pollutants, radio-active fall-out and pesticides. Though if this is the case, there are still 2% in Poland and 5% in the Czech Republic who would not prefer to buy uncontaminated food!

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