Survey finds food safety ranks as a top concern among Floridians

12/05/2013 04:41:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

Outside of the economy and health care, food safety ranks as one of the top concerns among Floridians.

Those were the results of a survey recently released by the University of Florida, according to a news release. It was led by the university's Center for Public Issues Education, or PIE Center.

The survey covered several food-related issues, including public perceptions about food safety, food insecurity and genetically modified foods—sometimes referred to as GMOs or genetically modified organisms.

It also found many Floridians lacked knowledge, especially in the area of food safety, and found conflicting beliefs about GMOs.

The October online survey included 510 Florida residents, age 18 years or older.

The responses were weighted to balance geographic, age, gender, race and ethnicity data.

Among a list of 15 issues, food safety ranked third, with 85 percent of respondents calling it extremely or highly important.

Food production practices came in ninth, with 74 percent ranking it as extremely or highly important.

The issue of GMOs was 14th on the list, with 57 percent calling it important.

Nearly half of the respondents said they were concerned about GMOs, and many were unsure about possible advantages or whether they'd ever buy a GMO.

But 52 percent approved the use of genetic engineering to help fight citrus greening, a disease that threatens the state's $9 billion citrus industry.

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