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Growing Organic



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B.C. is currently looking into the possibility of making GM labelling mandatory to give consumers a choice at the supermarket. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, responding to increasing pressure from consumers, has issued new voluntary guidelines for new GM foods or ingredients, which are viewed as the first step towards GM labelling.

In Europe, where GM labelling has been mandatory for more than two years, governments are now pushing for GM-free zones. And European Union agriculture ministers – rocked by recent outbreaks of Foot and Mouth and Mad Cow diseases and the consumer backlash over GM foods – have said that the future of agriculture on that continent will be organic.

While most of the region’s organic farmers sell most of their produce within the area (from D’Arcy to the Lower Mainland), feeding the organic demand in local restaurants, supermarkets and the weekly farmers’ market in Whistler, more demand for organic produce from outside Canada can only be a good thing.

"Along with a growing awareness of what we are putting into our mouths, farmers are going organic out of a concern for the earth that goes beyond wanting to make money," says Harvey. "Farmers don’t make big bucks, they are generally more in it for the lifestyle. Once you become aware of the environmental problems associated with conventional farming, it’s pretty easy to make the decision to go organic."