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Many shoppers prefer organic food—unless GM products are cheaper, Canadian survey finds

Published on January 13, 2021 | Claire Williams, Diego Maximiliano Macall, Savannah Gleim, and Stuart Smyth; Journal of Agriculture and Food Research | Genetic Literacy Project

Agricultural biotechnology produced genetically modified (GM) crops, not only provide economic benefits to farmers, but are beneficial to the environmental, human health, and consumers. At a time when no tool in agriculture can be overlooked when dealing with increasing environmental, food security, and economic pressures, what do Canadian consumers think of GM food, following over 20 years of consumption?

This article presents the results of a 2018 survey of 506 English-speaking Canadian consumers, about GM food, food labels and purchasing decisions. Results show the two most important factors that impact Canadian consumer food purchase decisions are: price and place of origin (Canadian made). Canadian consumers are responding to surveys about their willingness to consume GM food products in diametric opposition to their actual purchasing behavior. That is, consumers say they mistrust GM foods, but when consumers are making food purchase decisions in grocery stores, price is the key purchase determining factor.

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