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Just 37 percent of Americans believe genetically modified foods are safe to eat, compared with 88 percent of U.S. scientists, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

It was the largest gap in beliefs found in Pew's study on the divergent views of Americans and scientists. The study also showed wide divergences in views on man-made climate change, pesticide safety, and animal research.

According to the World Health Organization, while it's not possible to make a blanket statement about the safety of all GMOs, "GM foods currently available on the international market have passed safety assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health."

And there have been zero effects on the health of the general populace from eating GMOs, the agency says.

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The overall results confirm University of North Carolina professor Gordon Gauchat's findings showing declining trust of scientists among Americans, especially among Americans with strong political views since 2002:

"Scientific literacy and education are unlikely to have uniform effects on various publics, especially when ideology and identity intervene to create social ontologies in opposition to established cultures of knowledge," Gauchat writes.

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Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.