|Biotech foods produce mixed feelings in US
[ 2006-12-26 10:15 ]
is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
Americans are still split in their opinions about genetically engineered foods. The finding
is from one thousand adults questioned for the Pew Initiative on Food and
Biotechnology. This is a project of the University of Richmond in Virginia
supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
34 percent said they believed genetically modified foods are
safe. 29 percent thought they are unsafe.
Support increased when people were told that most processed foods contain at
least small amounts of genetically engineered organisms.
After that, 45 percent thought the foods were safe. But 29 percent still
believed they were unsafe.
Only 21 percent said that five years ago when the project first measured
public understanding and support for biotechnologies.
Genetically engineered soybeans, corn and cotton have been available to
American farmers for ten years. Much of the corn and soy is fed to animals. But
many foods contain genetically modified soy lecithin, corn syrup and other
Supporters say these foods are safe. They say genetic engineering improves
crops. These versions are often designed to resist damage from insects or
But the Pew Initiative says public understanding of biotech foods remains
low. 60 percent said they believed they had never eaten them.
The Food and Drug Administration does not require companies to identify
biotech foods to the public. 43 percent of the people said they would feel
better if the F.D.A. had more rules. Now, the agency only asks companies to
consult with it about biotech foods they want to market.
Some companies market products as being free of genetically modified
This year the Pew research added questions about animal cloning. Only 27
percent of those who said they had heard of it expressed comfort with the idea.
61 percent said they were uncomfortable with it.
The F.D.A. says it is moving closer to permitting the sale of milk and meat
from animals that are genetic copies of other animals. For now, companies are
being asked to cooperate with the agency and not market such products.
37 percent of the people said family and friends were their most trusted
sources of information about biotech foods. Farmers were second, then
scientists. Five years ago, the top answer was the F.D.A. Now it is fourth.
And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, written by Jerilyn
Watson. I'm Steve Ember.
genetically engineered food : 转基因食品