Turks refusing to eat GM food, poll reveals

Turks refusing to eat GM food, poll reveals

Turks refusing to eat GM food, poll reveals

Greenpeace activists protests a change in legislation regarding genetically modified organisms in front of the Ministry of Agriculture in this file photo. DHA photo

Some 83 percent of Turkish people are against consuming food from genetically modified (GM) organisms, according to a survey by Greenpeace.

Some 82.3 percent of the population has some knowledge about GMs, said the survey conducted by 4,860 people.

Nejat Dinç, the man in charge of Greenpeace’s Mediterranean Agriculture Campaign, told Radikal that Turkish citizens know well about GM food despite a common prejudice suggesting the opposite.

Nearly 80 percent of participants said their confidence in a food company would drop if the company used GM products, while 60 percent said they would not buy the products of a company that produces GM food.

The questions addressed both directly modified food, which is forbidden in Turkey, and the products of animals fed with GM materials.

The Greenpeace survey was conducted in 42 provinces across Turkey.

The Agriculture Ministry is working on a labeling system that will mark food from GM-fed animals.

Some 60 percent of the participants in the Greenpeace survey said this would increase their outlook on “the government’s sincerity on food security.”

The survey has shown that citizens demand appropriate labeling on meat, milk and eggs from animals fed by GM products, Dinç said. Figures indicate that belief in Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Mehdi Eker’s sincerity about food security will improve with such labeling.

However, 72.8 percent of those surveyed said they were not satisfied with the current inspections on GM food.

“The lack of inspections by official institutions is a long-bleeding wound. This applies to the food issue also and the situation is even worse in the sector. Thus, people do not trust that the food, agriculture and livestock minister is implementing enough inspections on the GM issue or is capable of doing so,” Dinç said, adding that it is impossible to inspect GM products once they enter the system.