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Genetic Engineering: The Pushback against GMO Foods

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's Genetic Engineering Page, Millions Against Monsanto Page and our Canada News Page.

Demand for food free of genetically modified organisms is growing fast and nowhere stronger than in British Columbia.

North American retail sales of Non-GMO Project verified foods have grown more than 300 per cent in three years, from $1.3 billion in 2011 to $5 billion today.

Products that display both an organic and non-GMO certification are out-selling their competitors five to one at Whole Foods Markets, company spokesman Joe Kennedy recently told a conference organized by the B.C. Food Processors Association.

The market share for organic groceries in B.C. is already double that of the rest of Canada, according to the Canada Organic Trade Association. Its 2013 market report found that two thirds of British Columbians buy organic foods each week and more than half of those surveyed said they want to avoid GMOs in their food.

A recent Ipsos Reid poll of 1,200 Canadians conducted for BioAccess Commercialization Centre, a non-profit organization that supports the natural foods industry, suggests that British Columbians are more likely to look for a non-GMO label than other Canadians.

But the Ipsos Reid survey also found widespread confusion about which crops, fruit and vegetables are likely to be the product of genetic engineering.

More than 60 per cent of respondents identified strawberries as a product of genetic engineering, but there are no commercially grown GE strawberries. Only 42 per cent identified tofu as a GMO product, despite the fact that more than 90 per cent of soybeans grown in North America are genetically engineered.      

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