For most rational people, science (and scientific reasoning) is king—especially when it comes to making everyday decisions. So why don't Americans trust scientists when it comes to genetically modified food?
According to the results of a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center—involving nearly 1,500 "nationally representative" adults—55 percent of those surveyed believe "organically grown produce is healthier than conventionally grown varieties," and 39 percent "consider genetically modified foods worse for a person's health than other foods." Furthermore, 40 percent of Americans say "most (six percent) or some (34 percent) of the foods they eat are organic." Of this group, 75 percent are "convinced that organic foods are healthier than conventionally grown foods."
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In a world where "post-truth" was recently declared 2016's Word of the Year, it's not surprising that some people are increasingly leaning on personal belief systems and gut instinct over facts and science when it comes to choosing behavioral pathways. What is interesting is that, in the case of GMO produce, it's those who are more invested in nutrition and self-care who are most dubious of scientific claims that genetically modified foods are safe—in other words, it's the health-conscious well-read label-scrutinizers, people who ostensibly have done the most research, who don't believe the science.