Avoiding GMOs (genetically modified organisms), for themselves or their children, is an increasingly important reason why parents choose organic food, according to the a study conducted by the Organic Trade Association (OTA).
U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs 2014 Tracking Study is a survey of more than 1,200 households across the nation with at least one child under the age of 18.
Almost 25 percent of parents buying organic said that wanting to steer clear of genetically modified foods is now one of their top reasons for selecting organic, the highest percentage in the four years the survey has been taken, and up significantly from 16 percent who said the same in 2013, according to the OTA.
“Each year we see an increase in parents’ self-described knowledge of organic topics. Parents have become more informed about the benefits of organic, and they have also become more aware of the questions surrounding GMOs. That heightened awareness is being reflected in their buying decisions,” said OTA CEO and Executive Director Laura Batcha.
Demand for organic products is booming, with sales in the United States jumping to $35.1 billion in 2013, a 12 percent hike from the previous year and a new record, reports the OTA, adding the survey shows that eight out of 10 American families now make organic products a part of their grocery list if not all the time, at least sometimes.
OTA’s Gwendolyn Wyard, regulatory director for Organic Standards & Food Safety, said that while parents can be assured when buying an organic product with the USDA Organic seal that it will always be non-GMO, products with only the non-GMO label are not necessarily organic, and that the non-GMO assurance is just one of the benefits of buying organic. She also said that the organic seal conveys a swath of other characteristics that parents value, such as no artificial colors, preservatives, or synthetic hormones.
For more information, visit www.ota.com.