Valerie Esposito and Jane Kolodinsky
University of Vermont.

Given the uncertainty of the use of genetic engineering in production of genetically modified (GM) foods, it remains the subject of one of the most vitriolic scientific debates throughout the globe. Newer facets of the debate include regulation of GM seed labeling as well as liability pertaining to GM pollen spread to non-GM plants. This study analyzes Vermonter Poll data of 656 respondents for relationships between demographics and opinions about seed labeling and GM pollen drift legislation. Preliminary results demonstrate general trends that the majority of respondents are in support of labeling for GM seeds, and opine that the US government, GM seed producers and GM farmers should be held liable for GM pollen spread, but also reflect some incongruity in attitudes. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of these results and how they can best inform policy formation regarding this controversial issue.

Key words: Consumer opinions, GM pollen drift, GM seed labeling, legislation, survey.