Prepared Foods October 18, 2004 enewsletter

Unease over genetically modified (GM) food continues to rise among Canadians, with three out of five saying such foods provide more risks than benefits, according to government poll.

According to the poll, about 53% of adult Canadians were uncomfortable buying foods with genetically modified ingredients.

Only 31% gave the same answer in the first such survey five years ago.

Three in four Canadians indicated support for mandatory labeling if foodstuffs contain any GM ingredients, a move the federal government has consistently rejected as unnecessary.

The country's food industry estimates that between two thirds and three quarters of processed foods already contain GM ingredients.

"Canadians are not yet at a point where they feel comfortable with GM food. In fact, comfort levels have continually declined," said a summary of the results prepared for federal officials.