This is a great question, but not an easy one to answer. If you peruse GMO Answers, you’ll find hundreds of statements and studies supporting GM crops and the use of biotechnology in agriculture. However, public opinion about GMOs can be difficult to measure. For example, if you visit Debate.org and look at opinions about GMOs, you’ll find a 50-50 scenario, where half are for GMOs and half are against. On the Debate.org platform, you can read comments that explain why people voted for or against GMOs. Most of the common themes in the negative comments are addressed on this site:
Are GMOs natural? http://gmoanswers.com/studies/random-thoughts-biotech
- Does “GMO” mean harmful chemicals are injected into food? http://gmoanswers.com/ask/can-you-describe-detail-process-which-genes-are-altered-foods
- Did GM feed really cause deadly tumors in lab rats? http://gmoanswers.com/ask/have-you-reviewed-study-showing-gmos-caused-cancer-lab-rats
- How can we be sure GM foods are safe? http://gmoanswers.com/ask/are-there-any-long-term-30-years-studies-done-full-spectrum-ecological-impact-transgenic-gmo
If science shows us that GMOs are a safe and helpful addition to our food supply, why doesn’t everyone support the production of GM crops? You might be interested in the book chapter “Why GMO Myths Are So Appealing and Powerful,” by Cami Ryan, research associate at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan. The book chapter can be accessed online here: https://www.smashwords.com/extreader/read/380524/71/the-lowdown-on-gmos-according-to-science. An excerpt is below:
“Recently, an executive with a biotech trade group asserted in an interview that it wasn’t too late to win the hearts and minds of consumers suspicious of genetically modified foods (131). Biotech advocates just need to do a better job of explaining the technology and its benefits. The headline for the piece read:‘It’s not too late to change the conversation on GMOs.’
“While I admire this optimism and agree that we should continue to engage in conversations about GMOs, there are certain present-day realities that constrain our efforts to find common ground on this very controversial topic.
“At the top of this list is the sheer amount of information we are inundated with every day. Many of us are tapped into mobile technology. We are referred to as ‘just in time’ users (Rainie and Fox 2012). We account for 62 percent of the entire adult population, who often look to online sources and online social networks for information. Anti-GMO interest groups have successfully leveraged these networks to disseminate misinformation and influence public opinion. Using carefully crafted words (‘frankenfoods’) (132) and images (syringes in tomatoes) (133), they create myths—GM corn causes cancer (134), fish genes have been forced into tomatoes (135) and GM corn kills the larvae of monarch butterflies (136)—that tap into people’s fears about genetic engineering…”
This chapter is part of the book The Lowdown on GMOs: According to Science, available online in its entirety here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/380524.
If you have any additional questions, please ask.