More than 60 percent of consumers were unwilling to buy genetically modified foods due to safety concerns, according to a recent Internet survey by the farm ministry.

The government approved modified soy beans, corn, potatoes, rape, cotton and sugar beets for consumption and requires some processed foods using GM ingredients to be labeled as such.

But the findings illustrate persistent consumer distrust of GM foods and could force the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry to take more steps to ensure their safety, said Mitsuyasu Yabe of the ministry’s Policy Research Institute.

Yabe conducted the survey in February and March on subscribers to an Internet service provider and received some 600 responses.

Some 68 percent of respondents would refrain from buying GM foods even if they were priced considerably cheaper than their non-GM equivalents, and 60 percent showed reluctance to buy them even if they have higher levels of nutrition or were grown using fewer chemicals.

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