Alabama Extension at Alabama A&M University
*This is part 8 of 9 from The Urban Difference: Report 2019
Educating consumers about GMOs reduces public fear associated with bioengineered food.
Dispelling Public Food Myths
Food has been genetically altered since the beginning of time. Scientists use modified plants to resist diseases and pests, for medicine and vaccines, and to increase food production. But not all consumers are convinced that genetically modified foods are safe although there is no scientific evidence to the contrary. That’s why programs like Food Facts are critical to debunk genetically modified organism (GMO) myths. Even the government is now on board in educating consumers about genetically engineered food through Feed Your Mind, an initiative of the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the USDA.
In 2019, 1,274 individuals were educated about GMOs and 1,121 (88%) agreed to purchase bioengineered food. They were also confident that GMOs were safe to consume. In addition, bioengineered and traditional demonstration corn plots were planted at AAMU’s Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station and the Agribition Center. Sixty-three participants completed an online survey after sampling the corn. The top three cultivars favored (first to third) were SV9010SA (bioengineered experimental), Temptation II (bioengineered), and Silver Queen (conventional). Forty-six (73%) participants were familiar with bioengineered foods and 38 (60%) considered the technology useful. Unfortunately, 25 (40%) of the participants were unsure if bioengineered foods were safe. As a result of the program, 25 (40%) of the participants did want to learn more about the use of biotechnology in developing and producing foods.
Part 1 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, From the Administrators
Part 2 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Alabama 4-H and Youth Development
Part 3 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Animal Science and Forages
Part 4 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Community Resource Development
Part 5 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Consumer Sciences and Personal Financial Management
Part 6 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Family and Child Development
Part 7 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Forestry, Wildlife, and Natural Resources
Part 8 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Home Grounds, Gardens and Home Pests
Part 9 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Human Nutrition, Diet and Health