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Organic Trade Association's Organic Newsroom: Parents are increasingly aware of unlabeled GMOs in food
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2013 Press Releases

 

Parents are increasingly aware of unlabeled GMOs in food

U.S. household survey finds one-third choose organic foods to avoid GMOs

Contact: Barbara Haumann (bhaumann@ota.com; 802-275-3820)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 19, 2013)—Results from the latest consumer survey conducted for the Organic Trade Association (OTA) reveal that as U.S. families are becoming increasingly aware of the presence of unlabeled genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods in the marketplace, they turn to organic as the food labeled by law to not have been made with genetically engineered ingredients.

In fact, survey results from the U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes & Beliefs 2013 Tracking Study, conducted by KIWI Magazine in partnership with OTA, show that 32 percent of parents who learned about GMOs in the news are significantly more likely to increase their organic purchases.

“The USDA Organic label is basically the gold standard for consumers to be sure that the foods they are buying are produced without genetically engineered ingredients,” explains OTA’s CEO and Executive Director Christine Bushway, noting that without national regulations requiring labeling for GMOs in foods, consumers cannot be sure otherwise that genetically engineering was not used in the production of many food products in the marketplace. “It is important for parents to know they have a choice when buying food for their families,” she adds.

In fact, younger parents—ages 18 to 24—reported the highest awareness that organic foods are produced without the use of GMOs.

Families continue to cite their desire for healthful options, especially for their children, in choosing organic foods. The percentage of those claiming their primary reason is to avoid GMOs has now reached 22 percent—up from 17 percent in 2011. The leading reason given continues to be that parents desire to avoid pesticides and fertilizers (30 percent) and antibiotics or synthetic hormones (29 percent) in food they purchase for their families.

The online survey, conducted between Jan. 18-Jan. 24, 2013, included responses from KIWI Magazine’s Parents’ Advisory Board as well as a national online panel of U.S. households. The data used responses from 1,239 households.

While public awareness of organic as the label to look for when wanting to avoid genetically engineered foods is increasing, public outcry for mandatory labeling for GMOs continues to rise. The national Just Label It campaign reports more than 1.2 million Americans have contacted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urging the agency to label genetically engineered food. More details are available on the Just Label It website.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.