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Organic food movement still continues to grow

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By Merilee Dannemann

There’s good news and bad news about the future of edible food in the world and, specifically, in New Mexico.
One item of bad news is that the New Mexico Senate rejected the bill to require labeling of genetically modified food (SB18, sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth of Santa Fe), deciding that you don’t have the right to make informed choices about what you’re eating.
This was a disappointment but not a surprise; New Mexico rarely does well at resisting powerful lobbies.
The good news is that New Mexico is seeing growth in organic farming and local marketing of farmed products. According to state Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte, organic farming in New Mexico brought in about $53 million in 2011.
The organic food movement reflects several overlapping themes about healthful food and environmental sustainability.
Public concern is growing over the long-term safety of genetically altered food, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, the health of the soil, toxic chemicals in the water, humane treatment of farm animals, and even the health of those essential pollinators, bees.
As the concern grows, so does support for local farmers who choose to grow organic.


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