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Poll Finds Many Canadians Worry About Imported FoodsWednesday, October 19, 2011 > 08:56:28
Imported foods have a branding problem in Canada, a government-commissioned survey has found.
Only 18% of consumers said they are "very confident" that imported food sold in Canada is safe, while 18% of consumers said they are very confident [sic].
When those in the range from only "slightly confident" in import and "not at all" confident were tallied, fully one third of consumers indicated they don't have confidence in the safety of imports.
This is the first time Agriculture Canada's strategic issues tracking survey has asked about the safety perceptions of food imports sold in Canada, and the results reveal a significant gap in confidence between imports and foods produced in Canada.
Among consumers, 51% said they are very confident in the safety of food produced in Canada.
That's up 10 points since 2009, when 41% said they were very confident. In 2007, when the tracking survey was carried out for the first time, 35% of consumers said they were very confident in the safety of food produced in Canada.
At the same time, the percentage of people who look for a product's country of origin when food shopping is up, from 52% in 2007 to 58% in 2011.
The 2011 survey also asked about whether consumers check to see if a product is locally grown, meaning grown within 100 kilometres of where they live. Half (51%) said they do check.
Environics completed the 2011 tracking survey in the first quarter of this year. The poll of 1,052 Canadians not involved in farming or ranching has a margin of error of three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.