The American public is evenly divided over whether genetically modified food and other ag biotech products hurt or help the environment. That's according to a poll by the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology.

Before reading information about possible benefits and risks of biotechnology, respondents nationwide were more likely to say that risks outweighed benefits (40% to 33%). But after reading about risks and benefits, they were evenly divided; 38% said risks outweigh benefits and 38% said benefits outweigh risks.

Consumers overall are generally unaware of the environmental risks and benefits of genetic engineering, the poll shows. Only 15% of respondents had heard “a great deal” about the benefits and 17%, the risks.