Present-Day Influencers on Consumer Understanding and Acceptance of Genetically Modified Foods

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Virginia Tech


The topic of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and its many equivalent terms, has been magnified in recent years, and with it, the uncertainty of the meaning of GMOs. Consumers are challenged with conflicting information on the safety of GMOs and whether or not consuming products sourced from genetically modified (GM) sources will negatively affect their health. The scientific community seems to be at odds with consumer advocacy groups. While scientists back the safety and risk of genetically modified foods, claiming equivalency to conventional food alternatives, consumer advocacy groups’ positions disagree with this opinion and are seeking point-of-purchase labeling differentiating foods made with genetic modification from those without. This paper will discuss these relevant topics of GMOs, the sourcing and availability of genetically modified foodstuffs, and the labeling and pending U.S. government regulation on genetically modified or “bioengineered” foods.
Scientists assert genetic modification has been occurring in one form or another in nature for centuries. In attempt to demystify the bioengineered food spectrum, a panorama of various forms of genetic modification will be outlined, and the climate of consumers’ beliefs, attitudes and concerns over genetically modified foods will be examined.