Avoiding genetically modified organisms is an increasingly important reason why parents choose organic foods, according to a study by the Organic Trade Association.

The study, entitled “U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs 2014,” encompassed more than 1,200 households across the U.S. with at least one child under 18.

“Of all the thoughts that race through the mind of a mom or dad as they do the weekly grocery shopping and decide whether to put an organic or non-organic item in the shopping cart, the desire to stay away from foods that have been genetically modified has never been greater,” the association said.

The study indicated nearly 25% of parents buying organic said avoiding GMOs is one of the top reasons they select organic foods — up from 16% a year ago.

According to Laura Batcha, executive director and CEO of the association, “Each year we see an increase in parents’ self-described knowledge of organic topics. They have become more informed about the benefits or organic and more aware of questions surrounding GMOs — a heightened awareness being reflected in their buying decisions.”

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