Generally, consumers mistrust GMO produce and its manufacturers, whether their information is accurate or not. Stigma towards GMOs include:
1. Unnaturally modified in labs
2. Consequences of long term use on human health are unknown
3. Long term usage effects on the environment are unknown
4. Notions that companies put profit over health
5. Undermining tactics used to push out organic/smaller farmers
Approximately half of consumers admit to knowing exactly what GMOs are. Thirty percent know which products are most likely genetically modified. Twenty eight percent know which products have GMO ingredients and only nine percent know certified organic products are GMO-free.
Recent government and restaurant industries headlines continue to show the increasing disdain for GMOs, including:
1. Chipotle, which announced it was removing GMOs from the menu in May
2. Overall cultural movement
3. Whole Foods aiming to be a fully transparent retailer
Although, the FDA has created a voluntary system of government certification and labeling of non-GMO products, consumers are increasingly demanding more transparency.
According to the Hartman Group’s Sustainability: Transparency 2015 sixty four percent of consumers are profoundly curious about the ingredients they intake and forty two want to know more about GMOs.
As the issue progresses, companies that remain silent risk losing the trust of their customer base. Increase availability of certified organic and non-GMO products further established this idea.
Silence towards the issue only deepens customers suspicion. To remain relevant companies should meet consumers at where they are. That doesn’t necessarily mean entering in the debate of pesticides or labeling but worker with the general population to become better informed.
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