A poll conducted by research firm The Mellman Group last month confirms that consumers want to know what’s in their food. An overwhelming 89 percent of consumers support mandatory labeling of genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) in food--and 77 percent of them “strongly favor” it.

The survey--conducted by telephone from November 16 through 19--consisted of 800 participants likely to vote in the 2016 general election. For this poll, The Mellman Group defined GMOs as "foods which have been genetically engineered or containing genetically engineered ingredients."

When given a choice between print GMO labels on food packaging versus bar codes that can be scanned with a smartphone, 88 percent said they prefer printed labels. Only 8 percent liked the ideas of smartphone bar codes. Part of the aversion to bar codes is rooted in the fact that consumers do not want food manufacturers gathering personal information about them--such as location and product choices--for market research purposes. Critics of scannable GMO bar codes also say that it would limit the availability of information for consumers who are not technologically savvy.

Opposition to mandatory labeling was limited. A mere 6 percent of consumers said they are against GMO labeling, and another 6 percent said they are neither for or against it.

More on GMO labeling:
House Passes GMO Labeling Bill
Kansas Congressman Says GMO Labeling is Unnecessary
House to Vote Against Anti-GMO Labeling Bill

Sign up for Food Safety Magazine’s bi-weekly emails!