It is true that some educated urban elites oppose GMOs, and each person’s opposition may be influenced by different things. For some individuals, ethical or religious values could be impacting their opposition. Others may be skeptical of and distrust "big business" and "corporate agriculture." Others may simply not understand the technology or the practices, causing them to be unsure about the product. While personal factors may influence the opposition, many societal shifts also likely contribute to it. Industrialization, urbanization and innovation have all occurred very rapidly, causing people to become disconnected from new technologies and food production. While many people would have grown their own food several generations ago, less than 2 percent are involved in agricultural production today. Therefore, consumers generally lack a personal experience with food production that can help facilitate their understanding.
These are great questions that are important to the GMO conversation, and I thank you for asking them. There is an old saying that "consumer perception is reality," and if the consumer perception continues to be one of concern, it is likely that we will continue to see media and political attention directed toward the topic, despite the fact that valid, scientifically established facts substantiate the safety of GMOs.