Young Finns negative about GM fed pigs
Half of the population in Finland completely
disapproves meat raised with genetically modified (GM) feed, according to a
survey commissioned by the Finnish news source Helsingin
More than 90% feel that meat raised with such feed should have a label that
informs the consumer of its use.
Most pork sold in Finland will soon
be raised with the help of genetically modified feed, as Finland 's largest meat
packers have announced that they will be introducing GM soybean feed, which is
cheaper than the traditional kind.
survey shows that barely over one quarter of Finns approve of the use of GM feed
Taking the most positive attitudes are men under the
age of 25. Awareness of GM food grows with age. Less than 20% of the respondents
over the age of 65 approve of the use of GM grain in animal
GM is cheaper
The Meat Board of the Finnish
Food and Drink Industries' Federation calculates that the price of pork chop
would increase by less than 1% - or about 8 cents a kilogramme - if producers
were to stick to non-GM feed.
However, the association notes that
the difference will grow, as the price of traditional soy feed rises faster than
that of the GM variety. In the future it might be difficult to find soybeans
whose genes have not been manipulated in some way.
The poll suggests that in spite of the price difference, there will
still be a market for meat produced in the traditional manner, as 72% say that
they are willing to pay at least a little bit more for meat if they can be sure
that no GM feed has been used in raising it.
One in six says that
they would be willing to pay significantly more for GM-free meat. Women were
less concerned about price considerations than men. The most negative view of
the prospect of more expensive meat are young respondents, and those living in
the north of Finland.
Income levels did not
appear to play a role in how much more a person was willing to pay for non-GM
Meat Board chairman Pasi Lähdetie is not worried by the results
of the poll. He says that views expressed by people in surveys are not always
reflected in consumer habits.
"We have experiences on similar surveys
concerning organic meat. Compared with the positive opinions, consumption of
organic meat has been very low", Lähdetie points out.
â€¢ GM feed introduced to Finnish pig farms (9
â€¢ Finnish Food
and Drink Industries' Federation
â€¢ Helsingin Sanomat
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