Bellevue, WA — Food manufacturers need to begin discussing GMOs more openly or risk being left out of the conversation completely, according to the Hartman Group, Inc.
While many consumers don’t know what GMOs are, according to the researcher, 19 percent of shoppers say they look for foods labeled non-GMO, 16 percent more than those who look for organic labels. Further, 33 percent of shoppers now deliberately avoid GMOs compared with just 15 percent in 2007.
Concerns about GMOs impact on their health and well being are cited by 70 percent of consumers as to why they avoid these types of ingredients, while half of shoppers say they want to know what goes into their food and 36 percent report concern about the possible environmental impact.
In addition, 30 percent of shoppers say they don’t want to support companies that use GMOs.
Hartman reports that consumers assume companies that don’t openly justify a position in favor of GMOs have something to hide.
The researcher says that for some companies, talking about GMOs will mean determining whether removing them is possible from cost and other standpoints and if consumers will accept higher prices as a tradeoff.
While a number of state initiatives have proposed mandatory labeling of items containing GMOs, a coalition of industry stakeholders, including the NCA, are working together to seek a nationwide law in lieu of patchwork state mandates.