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New Poll of Japanese Consumers on GMOs

(14 August - Cropchoice News) -- A new poll of Japanese consumers finds that more than three fifths - 61% - say they are concerned about biotech foods. A quarter of those polled - 26% - said that they don't want to eat eat GMOs period, while 36% said they were "somewhat worried".

The poll was conducted at the end of July by the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.

As in many other countries, the poll found that women are somewhat more likely to be concerned about biotech foods than men. In Japan, 68% of women said they were concerned about the safety of biotech foods, while just over half the men felt similarly.

Japan is America's biggest corn and soybean buyer, although Mexico may buy more beans this year, in part due to Japanese GMO concerns. Non-GMO US soybean futures trade on the Tokyo Grain Exchange and a number of Japanese companies have recently announced they were going GMO free in anticipation of mandatory labeling requirements which take effect in April 2001.

The new poll comes on the heels of another conducted this spring by an American company, which found that 82% of Japanese consumers "view the GMO food trend as negative".

The poll also asked about beef from cloned cattle. Japanese uneasiness about cloning was even higher, with about 70% saying they are unwilling to eat steaks from cloned cattle.

SOURCE: Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo)