A recently released study sponsored by the United Soybean Board has found that nearly two-thirds of healthcare professionals viewed biotechnology as a positive method for food production (61%). One in three study participants were aware of specific health and nutrition benefits (33%); within that group, health professionals most often mentioned increased nutrients (52%).
Additionally, health professionals identified several other positive health and agriculture attributes—including many specific to soy—ranging from reduced saturated fat content in food products to the use of fewer pesticides/herbicides in farming. In fact, 77% of healthcare professionals recognize the health benefits of including soy in consumer diets, with menopause relief, protein source and heart health topping the list. Study participants also viewed soybean oil to be as healthy as canola oil, and perceive agricultural biotechnology as positive if it enhances the nutritional benefits of food products.
Many health professionals reported that once they were aware of biotech enhancements to soybeans that reduce saturated fat and increase omega 3s, they were likely to recommend increased consumption of soybean oil (43% and 42%, respectively). The findings were corroborated by the International Food Information Council's 2010 Consumer Perception of Food Technology survey results, which showed that consumers were more likely to purchase foods produced through biotechnology if they provide more healthful fats like omega 3s and limit trans fat (76% and 74%, respectively).