Consumer confidence towards biotech improving, says CropLife Canada

Consumer confidence in government regulations around biotechnology is improving, according to CropLife Canada polling in the country.

“We’re finding the attitudes of Canadians about biotechnology is really getting better,” says Dennis Prouse, vice president, government affairs, CropLife Canada, in the video below. “Our actual research finds that Canadian attitudes have taken a good jump forward, and I think that’s largely due to the unblemished safety record biotech has.”

The polling was done in August 2017, with 1,001 participants from all 10 Canadian provinces. When asked for their level of confidence in Canadian government regulations ensuring the safety of plant biotechnology, the survey showed a 22% increase in responses of “confident,” 0% in “very confident,” and 23% in “somewhat confident,” when compared to a similar survey done by the same group in 2013.

The same question surrounding “pesticides” and “pest control products,” however, saw different results. Participant confidence in regulatory safety of pesticides saw a 1% drop in “very confident,” and a 4% rise in “somewhat confident”  responses. “Pest control products” saw an increase of 3% for “very confident” and 13% for “somewhat confident.”

“[Pest control products haven’t] shown the big jump that biotech has — obviously, the fear of chemicals is out there…it’s going to be a tougher hill to climb.” says Prouse.

Prouse says the measurement of media showing negative stories on these subjects has dropped though. And while it may feel with labels like Non GMO Project Verified that consumer confidence is waning, Prouse says there’s more to the story.

“Marketing will go up and down, but again, this is about license-to-operate, and about public confidence, and in those bigger picture metrics, we’re making some progress,” says Prouse.

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