Some view the two labels as synonymous, according to a new study by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
That’s understandable because organic standards ban GMOs.
The study, led by assistant professor Brandon McFadden with Purdue University agricultural economics professor Jayson Lusk, explored ways to communicate to consumers whether food has genetically modified ingredients.
Researchers conducted a national survey of 1,132 respondents and found they are willing to pay nine cents more for a box of 12 granola bars labeled non-GMO, but 25 cents more for boxes labeled “contains genetically engineered ingredients”.
The situation was different for apples. They were willing to pay 35 cents more for those labeled non-GMO and 40 cent more for those labeled USDA organic.
The results led McFadden to conclude that consumers don't distinguish definitions of the two food labels.
"For example, it's possible that a product labeled, 'Non-GMO Project Verified' more clearly communicates the absence of GM ingredients than a product labeled 'USDA Organic,'" he said.
The study is published in the Journal Applied Economics: Perspectives and Policy.
But, then again, you have to consider that U.S. citizens elected Donald Trump president.