Last year, the Pew Research Center found that most people think GMOs are unsafe and unhealthy. Only 10 percent would trust information given to them from the industry, and less than half would trust scientists. So if the public isn't believing the experts on the subject, maybe they'll listen to Bill Gates instead.
The Microsoft mogul called out those against GMOs and genetically engineered foods in a recent Reddit AmA. He doesn't stay away from non-GMO foods, but did find it "disappointing" that non-GMO is perceived as better.
There is no true reason to be afraid of GMOs, really. Hundreds in the scientific community deem the foods to be safe and beneficial for society. They can help combat disease, relieve world hunger, and give populations fighting malnutrition food that supplies the nutrients missing from their diet. GMOs are instrumental in bringing about a hunger-free future of food, despite what the general public thinks about them.
What's really been driving the anti-GMO stigma has been fear-mongering from those who may not be fully informed on the subject (and perhaps a little dosage of Russian influence as well). There are many out there trying to replace fear with facts, like Neil deGrasse Tyson and his contributions to the GMO debate documentary Food Evolution. With a name like Bill Gates joining the pro-GMO side, maybe more people will be willing to accept them as a vital part of society.
Then again, we are talking about a population where 30% of people think GMOs don't have genes, so there's a whole cloud of misinformation we have to fight through first.