The Cornucopia Institute, through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, provides needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media. We support economic justice for the family-scale farming community – partnered with consumers – backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.
August 23rd, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: Pesticides applied to keep bees safe from parasites like Varroa mites have been found to alter bees’ gut microbiota. Growing evidence in the beekeeping world points to using management techniques to control pests and safeguard bee health.
Pesticides used to help bees may actually harm them
from Virginia Tech
Pesticides beekeepers are using to improve honeybee health may actually be harming the bees by damaging the bacteria communities in their guts, according to a team led by a Virginia Tech scientist.
The discovery, published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, is a concern because alterations can affect the gut’s ability to metabolize sugars and peptides, processes that are vital for honeybee health. Beekeepers typically apply pesticides to hives to rid them of harmful parasites such as Varroa mites. Read Full Article »
August 23rd, 2016
[This article was previously published in the summer issue of The Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.]
by Melody Morrell, Data Analyst & Research Specialist at The Cornucopia Institute
|Source: Adobe Stock
The Cornucopia Institute is proud to represent thousands of members within the good food movement. Our research and educational efforts support the integrity of the organic label. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions posed on our social media:
Can we trust the USDA organic seal; what about local? What’s more important?
The organic label is the most stringently regulated label on foods in the marketplace. If you have access to local organic food, you can meet your farmer, learn how your food is grown, and enjoy the ultimate in freshness, nutrition, and community building!
Although Cornucopia takes issue with less-than-satisfactory oversight by the USDA, allowing “organic” factory farms to operate illegally and imports through without thorough scrutiny, we strongly recommend all certified organics over conventionally produced food. Read Full Article »
August 22nd, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: The image of tranquil cows gladly giving their healthy milk is only PR spin hiding the reality of many conventional cows living on concrete and eating toxins. Consumers’ first choice should be organic dairy.
Will Allen & Michael Colby: Dairy Marketing vs. Reality
by Will Allen and Michael Colby
Editor’s note: This commentary is by Will Allen and Michael Colby, who are co-founders, along with Kate Duesterberg, of Regeneration Vermont, a new nonprofit educational and advocacy organization that is working to halt the catastrophic consequences of Vermont’s adoption of degenerative, toxic and climate-threatening agricultural techniques.
The great divide between the well-marketed image of Vermont dairy farming and its stark and toxic realities is becoming harder and harder to ignore. The marketing shows healthy cows grazing on lush pastures. But the reality is cows on concrete, being fed a diet of GMO-corn and the toxic residues from the hundreds of thousands of pounds of herbicides sprayed annually on the corn and hay fields.
Instead of addressing the toxic legacy of the very non-organic dairying that dominates our agriculture, Vermont’s two giant diary corporations, Cabot Creamery and Ben & Jerry’s, and the state’s agricultural agency that acts more as their protector than regulator, continue to hide behind the myth and the marketing. Read Full Article »
August 22nd, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: Consumers can currently be certain that their food is non-GMO by buying organic. However, some language in the new GMO labeling bill could dilute the definition of “bioengineered” in organic regulations as well. Lawsuits are already pending. Stand by to help keep organics truly non-GMO.
Genetically modified food: New law a disaster
San Diego Union-Tribune
by David Schubert
[Early this month], President Obama signed the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law, a deceptive document that will put the U.S. population at risk for generations.
This bill creates a situation in which a shopper who wishes to know if a food contains genetically modified (GM) products will likely be required to use a smart phone, make a phone call, or employ a bar code decoder.
In addition, the bill forbids states from labeling foods, gives all of the power to the secretary of agriculture to regulate GM food labeling and even redefines the actual meaning of GM. Read Full Article »
August 18th, 2016
Don’t Let Giant Corporations and Factory Farms Corrupt Organics!
French dairy giant Groupe Danone (Dannon in the U.S.) has announced the proposed acquisition of WhiteWave Foods for approximately $10 billion. The deal would combine the Danone-owned and world’s largest organic yogurt brand Stonyfield with Wallaby, a rapidly growing yogurt label. The deal would also give Danone control over the Horizon organic brands, which is the nation’s largest brand of organic milk.
The U.S. government should protect market competition by enforcing laws, including the Sherman Act and Clayton Act, which decry anti-competitive practices including price fixing, monopolization, and controlling trusts. Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice are charged with reviewing acquisitions over a certain size for anti-competitive concerns.
All organic stakeholders should be concerned by the Danone-WhiteWave acquisition. The market for organic dairy already has less competition than other agricultural sectors and is more susceptible to monopolization and price fixing. Read Full Article »