[16 June/Stuff NZ]

A new poll of 9000 New Zealanders reveals GM food is one our most divisive issues, with only 66 per cent of respondents agreeing GM food was safe to eat, and nearly 30 per cent saying it shouldn’t be sold here at all. New Zealand has a long history of debating GM food and there has been strong opposition to the release of GM crops in the past, despite strong scientific consensus that GM foods are as safe to eat as conventional foods. But attitudes aren’t changing. Most of the participants, 66.9 per cent, said their opinion on GM food had not changed in five years. The findings revealed people with lower education or science knowledge were less likely to agree GM food was safe to eat. Winchester farmer Michael Tayler said people need to be talking about the benefits of GM, and that uncertainty was holding people back when there was huge demand on agriculture and pressure on natural resources.