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International Food Information Council (IFIC) and IFIC Foundation PowerPoint Presentation
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International Food Information Council (IFIC) and IFIC Foundation

International Food Information Council (IFIC) and IFIC Foundation

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International Food Information Council (IFIC) and IFIC Foundation

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  1. Food Biotechnology Consumer Attitudes & CommunicationsAndy BensonDirector of International OutreachInternational Food Information Council (IFIC)

  2. International Food Information Council (IFIC) and IFIC Foundation Mission: To communicate science-based information on food safety and nutrition issues to health professionals, media, educators and government officials. Primarily supported by the food, beverage and agricultural industries.


  4. Food Insight Newsletter • 45,000 circulation • 7% international • 6,000 media

  5. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology National Foundation for Integrated Pest Management Education American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation National Policy and Resource Center on Nutrition and Aging, Florida Int’l University American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports American College of Sports Medicine The American Dietetic Association Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation University of Illinois Functional Foods for Health Program Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses U.S. Department of Agriculture Consumer Federation of America The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network U.S. Environmental Protection Agency U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Marketing Institute National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Inc. Institute of Food Technologists IFIC & IFIC Foundation Partners

  6. Benefits of Food Biotechnology Biotechnology has the potential to deliver significant benefits to: • Consumers: quality, taste, nutrition • Farmers: production efficiency, less environmental impact • Developing countries: quantity and quality food production, economic advancement

  7. Questions About Biotechnology • Ethics (“interfering with nature”)? • Safety of food and for the environment? • Long-term uncertainty? • (Lack of ) trust of government regulatory agencies? • Corporate power & intellectual property ownership? • Possible exploitation of developing countries?

  8. IFIC Food Biotechnology Consumer Focus Groups - 1992 10 U.S. Cities

  9. ENERGY RESULTS IDENTITY SCOPE TIME Who we Respect for Ties to past, We work Benefits are, values nature and commitment hard, have a must be and deeds limits to future vision worthy, not frivolous IFIC’s Food BiotechnologyConsumer Research

  10. IFIC Quantitative Surveys “U.S. Consumer Attitudes TowardFood Biotechnology” • Wirthlin Group Quorum Surveys • March 1997 • February 1999 • October 1999 • Cogent Research • September 2001 • August 2002 • Each based on 1,000 Telephone Interviews of U.S. Adults • Nationally Projectable • May 2000 • January 2001

  11. Are there any foods or ingredients that you have avoided or eaten less of? IFIC 2002

  12. If yes, what foods or ingredients did you avoid or eat less of? (Multiple responses allowed) IFIC 2002

  13. Any info not currently on food labels that you would like to see? (Multiple responses allowed, n = 1000) IFIC 2002

  14. What, if anything, are you most concerned about when it comes to food safety? (Multiple responses allowed, n = 1000) IFIC 2002

  15. How much have you read orheard about biotechnology? IFIC 2002

  16. Are there any foods produced through biotechnology in the supermarket today? IFIC 2002

  17. Which foods produced through biotech are currently in the supermarket now? (multiple answers allowed, n=348) (Top 5 answers) 8/02 Vegetables 37% Corn 24% Fruits 21% Meats 21% Tomatoes 16% IFIC 2002

  18. Likelihood of purchase if modified by biotechnology to taste better or fresher IFIC 2002

  19. . . . if modified by biotechnology to be protected from insect damage and required fewer pesticides IFIC 2002

  20. Effect on purchasing decision if biotechnology produced cooking oil lower in saturated fat IFIC 2002

  21. Will biotechnology provide benefits for you or your family within the next 5 years? IFIC 2002

  22. What benefits do you expect from biotechnology? (Multiple responses allowed) IFIC 2002

  23. Support for FDA Labeling Policy IFIC 2002

  24. During the past few months, have you taken any action due to concerns about biotech foods? IFIC 2002

  25. What About Europe? “Why did the Europeans reject biotechnology?” “What do the Europeans know that we don’t?” “I heard there were a lot of protests against biotechnology in Europe.”

  26. Opposition in Europe The situation was quite different in Europe • Little information to the public • Consumers only heard from the activists • Less visible support from third-parties • Regulatory bodies not prepared • Lack of trust in government • Not secure in the safeguards • Mad cow disease was top of mind

  27. Trust in Food Safety Regulation • USDA: Over 80% (Gallup) • Europe: Less than 40% (Eurobarometer)

  28. Genes in Food? Who would eat organisms?

  29. Monarch Butterfly • Nature magazine reported the possible effects of Bt corn pollen on monarch caterpillar • Since May 1999 other researchers have stepped forward • “Our study was conducted in the laboratory and, while it raises an important issue, it would be inappropriate to draw any conclusions about therisk to monarch populations in the field based solely on these initial results.” • - John E. Losey, Ph.D., Cornell • Research confirmed safety of Bt corn on non-target insects

  30. Religious and Moral Issues • Some believe biotechnology represents man’s intervention into Nature • Others have different viewpoints, including the Vatican… “We are increasingly encouraged that the advantages of genetic engineering of plants and animals are greater than the risks….We cannot agree with the position of some groups that say it is against the will of God to meddle with the genetic make-up of plants and animals.” – Bishop Elio Sgreccia

  31. “When reporting medical and health news, the media often contradict themselves, so I don’t know what to believe” (68% agreed with this statement) The National Health Council Report 1997

  32. Journal of the National Cancer Institute—February 4, 1998 • Journal of the American Medical Association—February 11, 1998

  33. GOAL: Communicate Food-Related Science in Ways that Serve Both Public Understanding and the Objectives of the Communicators

  34. Factors Affecting Consumer Attitudes Toward Food Biotechnology • Awareness • Information Sources • Education • Trust • Perceptions on Food Safety • Terminology • “Biotechnology” – not “GMO”

  35. The language can be frightening.

  36. What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “genetic modification”? DNA Unnatural Cloning Scary Test tubes X-Files Laboratories Source: Alliance for Better Foods (focus groups), 1999

  37. Terminology • Biotechnology – largely positive • Food Biotechnology – more positive • Genetically Engineered Foods – less positive • Genetic Engineering – negative AFIC

  38. Better Phrases Food Biotechnology Genetically Improved Grown a Better Way Product of the New Science of Farming Enhanced Farming Better Flavor Stays Fresher Longer Source: CFIA/NIN, 1999

  39. Definition of Biotechnology Biotechnology is based on age-old principles of selective breeding. It allows us to identify and transfer the specific gene that creates a desired trait in a plant, and it offers farmers a more precise way to produce plants with certain beneficial characteristics — such as greater nutrition.

  40. Oppose Support Net +31 After definition -33% 64% Net -5 Before definition -45% 40% On the whole, would you say you support or oppose the use of biotechnology in agriculture and food production? Source: KRC Research (focus group), 1999

  41. Imagine two different boxes of cereal. One includes biotechnology ingredients. One does not. Which do you prefer if the biotechnology food… Has fewer pesticides? Is more nutritious? Tastes better? Is 30% less expensive? Prefer non-biotech Prefer biotech food Source: KRC Research, September 1999

  42. Television 48% Magazines 47% Newspapers 18% Family and friends 11% Reference/general books 12% Doctors 11% Internet 6% Radio 5% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% ADA Trends Survey 2000 Where do consumers get their nutrition information?

  43. 92% Doctors Registered dietitians 90% Nutritionists 90% 87% Magazines Nurses 85% Newspapers 82% 79% TV news Family and friends 69% 65% Radio news 61% Other non-news TV Internet 61% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% ADA Trends Survey 2000 Value of Nutrition Sources—“Very Valuable”

  44. Communicating with Consumers • Place biotechnology in context • Explain goals and benefits • Give accurate view of safety • Speak in familiar terms • Tell stories about real foods

  45. IFIC Relationships

  46. OECD ADA IFT FDA NAS House Science Subcommittee The Weight of the Evidence

  47. Emotion Local Safety Consumer Awareness Issues Global Trade Issues Consumer Demand Evolution of Biotechnology