4 years ago1,000+ Views
If there's one thing that public outcry over various news stories has assured me, it's that people, more often than not, do not know what they are talking about. Or, it's that the news is making it seem like people are saying things they are not really saying. In this case, it's a little of both.... Case in point is this article about Americans supporting DNA labeling on food. Why? Because 80% of Americans in this study supported putting DNA labeling on food, which frankly makes no sense if you just look at that headline. Now, let's look at this a little more: when the question was presented to those in the study, how was it worded? The study didn't give those details (http://agecon.okstate.edu/faculty/publications/4975.pdf) but considering the question listed with it (Do you think GMOs should be labeled), I have to think that maybe these people really did mean foods containing DNA that was put there by scientists, as opposed to the DNA that is naturally occurring in the food. But, it's completely possible people were for labeling any food containing DNA, which, would ultimately mean nearly all food. The first question of the survey asked: “Do you support or oppose the following government policies?” 86.5% of respondents support mandatory country of origin labels for meat. A large majority (82%) support mandatory labels on GMOs, but curiously about the same amount (80%) also support mandatory labels on foods containing DNA. The least popular policies were bans on transfats, bans on sales of marijuana, and a tax on sugared sodas. Only about 39% of respondents supported a sugared soda tax. Either way, the idea of whether or not these foods should be labeled comes back to one thing: do we know what we're eating? And if we really do understand what we're eating, are we OK with it? Before we put things in our body, we should understand how natural (or unnatural) that might be.
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@alancoffel Good point. Really, it's rare to find a survey that's not biased---because who would fund it?
Before you read the results of a survey, you should ask what it was that the people who paid for the survey wanted. Even if all they wanted was information, they wanted CLEAR information, so they may be biased against proving inconclusive or mixed results. If they wanted news, they probably wanted INTERESTING news, so they'd be biased against reporting boring results. Of course the anti-GMO and pro-GMO surveys are also biased.
@drwhat In most cases no, but they should be allowed to think they do anyways.
@amog32 You're right this is a really poor representation of what people what, but I guess I really wonder if people know what they want?
Consumers want as much transparency as possible when it comes to what they're eating, but many companies don't want to provide it because of GMOs. Are we really surprised? I think this study, too, doesn't really do a good job of capturing what consumers want. We can't stop the production of GMOs due to lobbyists, but we deserve to know what we're eating even if we're not eating organic.