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UK consumers more relaxed than ever about GM food

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Friday, August 14, 2009

The results of interviews with 2,100 adults were published in the newest tracker survey in the UK to address consumer attitudes towards food safety, food concerns and other major Food Standards Agency (FSA) issues. Conducted quarterly, the research also monitors consumer awareness of, and trust in, the FSA.

In keeping with a general trend, a fall of three per cent in expression of overall concern about food safety issues was observed in the latest result of 61%. Within this sector, food poisoning occupied 47%, followed by concern about the quantities of fat, salt, sugar and saturated fat present in food (41%, 40%, 36% and 36% respectively). Concern about the conditions in which animals are kept and food prices were both recorded at 33%.

Four per cent of interviewees cited GM foods spontaneously when requested to identify food issues of concern. This represents a reduction of two percentage points with respect to the previous quarter.

Interviewees also were presented with a list of seventeen issues related to food. The issues included food prices and the use of pesticides and antibiotics in the production of foodstuffs, as well as the degree of fat, sugar and salt in food. In a significant drop of five percentage points in comparison to the last survey, concern about GM was mentioned by only 21% of respondents, the lowest of any issues suggested.