Probing further, another 8pc of dairy farmers said they would produce GM milk if the premium was attractive enough. Only one of the 35 farmers I interviewed had heard of GM milk previously and none of the 100 parents in the initial survey had heard of it.
It can be argued that this research is not relevant as the current laws in the EU are too stringent to allow the advent of GM milk in the short-to-medium term. However, I feel the Irish dairy industry should not use this as an excuse to bury its head in the sand. The perception that genetically modified milk industries are not emerging and developing around the world, couldn't be further from the truth.
Both China and Argentina have engineered genetically modified cows and scientists in those countries plan to use these cows to produce milk for baby formula.
In China, scientists have strategically introduced human genes into 300 dairy cows, which are now producing human-like breast milk. These scientists believe that the milk from herds of these genetically modified cows, could provide an alternative to breast milk and baby formula, with the latter often criticised as being an inferior substitute.
In Argentina, scientists from the National University of St Martin are also working on this concept. They were the first in the world to introduce two human genes to a cow - named Rosita ISA - which enables her to produce human-like milk.
They believe this will have major implications with baby formula in the future, potentially dramatically cutting costs in its production.
Argentinian Dr Adrian Mutto, one of the three principle scientists responsible for this research, told me that they have plans to artificially inseminate this three-year-old cow. The Jersey breed is to be used and embryos will then be transferred from this cow to recipient cows - this will increase their GM cow numbers at a faster rate for the future.
Like Ireland, New Zealand is a country which prides itself on its green image and could describe its dairy industry as visionary. There, scientists from AgResearch Ltd, have genetically engineered a cow which produces milk free of lactoglobulin (BLG).
This is a protein not found in human milk and has been shown to cause allergens in one in 50 people, mostly infants.
This cow called Daisy (pictured below) was created with the same cloning procedures that created Dolly the sheep in 1996. Future plans are to gain global market share of the baby formula market, worth over €28.8bn in 2013.
Securing the market for the 2pc of babies that are allergic to cow's milk would be worth €576m per year to New Zealand.
According to Euromonitor International, infant formula is the world's fastest growing functional food with sales increasing by €3.3bn in 2013 alone. Euromonitor International also predicts that the global infant formula market will be worth over €61bn by 2019.
China, Argentina and New Zealand are leading the way on GM milk due to their more relaxed GM research and development laws.
The Irish dairy industry needs to be informed by what consumers desire. But we also need to know if we are being potentially left behind other international dairy industries in areas such as GM milk production.
One of the more interesting findings of this study is that while 38pc of parents said they would feed this milk to their child, another 22pc would change their position within 10 years if the GM product was proven safe.
I believe that if this study was carried out a decade ago these figures would not be as high. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is that we have been eating GM food ingredients in Ireland since at least 2001 (when the Food Safety Authority of Ireland first started testing food for GM presence).
These ingredients include soya bean and maize, some of which are herbicide tolerant. As shown in this study there seems to be a trend towards acceptance of GM food.
At the very least, our dairy industry needs to keep up to date with scientific developments on GM milk production.
This new industry, if successful, is likely to develop into a rapidly growing global business.
Our dairy and food industry will need to initiate a debate and decide on the direction we will take with GM milk.
Enda Quinn is an animal nutritionist with a Masters degree in Animal Science and a Masters in Business Administration. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org