The Cornucopia Institute

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.

Arkansas Farmers Say Syngenta Tainted Grain Supply To Promote GMO

February 26th, 2015

Arkansas Business
by Jan Cottinham

Source: John Lillis

At least a dozen Arkansas farmers have joined hundreds of farmers in 19 other states in almost 800 lawsuits against Swiss seed maker Syngenta over genetically modified corn seed, a case that has been widely reported in the media.

But one of the lawsuits, filed on behalf of two Newport farms, contains a previously unreported twist: an allegation that Syngenta, a global agribusiness, has engaged in a criminal conspiracy to contaminate the U.S. corn crop to force China, other nations that buy U.S. corn and U.S. farmers to accept genetically modified corn.

The suit, field by the Emerson Poynter law firm, which has offices in Little Rock and Houston, alleges that Syngenta violated the Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, which is usually used to fight organized crime. Read Full Article »

Small Farmers Hold the Key to Seed Diversity: Researchers

February 26th, 2015

by Chris Arsenault

Source: VitaminGreen

ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Up to 75 percent of the seeds needed to produce the world’s diverse food crops are held by small farmers, researchers said following a review of international census data.

Growers with farms of less than seven acres preserve diversity through “networks of seed and knowledge exchanges”, Karl Zimmerer, a Penn State University geography professor who led the research, told a conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Friday.

Some 75 percent of the world’s plant genetic diversity has been lost since the 1900s, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has reported, as farmers shift from local varieties to genetically uniform, high-yielding crop breeds. Read Full Article »

UAVs Awaiting Take-off in US Agriculture

February 26th, 2015

Farmers Guardian
by John Wilkes

Source: David Rodriguez Martin

Like their counterparts in Europe, farmers in the United States see potential for the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in their businesses. However, a ban on the use of drones for commercial purposes is preventing any further development of the technology in agriculture from, quite literally, getting off the ground.

The agricultural sector featured strongly at the UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) Commercialisation Industry Conference held in Washington, DC, at the end of last year.

As of June 13, 2014, crop research with UAVs at American universities became more complicated. Research must now have an aviation sector focus to be legal. On June 18, 2014, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) also stopped all UAV flights over agricultural land for economic purposes without operators first obtaining a ‘333 Exemption’ (Special Rules for Certain Unmanned Aircraft Systems). Read Full Article »

Farmers, Workers, and Allies Hold Speak Out Against Fast Track Outside Rep. Ron Kind’s La Crosse, Wis. Office on February 27

February 25th, 2015

Family Farm Defenders Urges Congressman Kind to
Support the Working People of Wisconsin by Opposing Unfair Trade Deals

Family Farm Defenders

Rep. Ron Kind

Farmers, workers and their allies will be speaking out against unfair trade deals and urging Rep. Ron Kind to oppose Fast Track outside his La Crosse, Wis. office (205 5th Ave. S. #400) on Friday, February 27 at 12:00 Noon.  Many of them will be gathering at 11:30 am outside the main entrance to the MOSES Organic Farming Conference  before heading over to Representative Kind’s office to insist that he standup for the interests of the working people of Wisconsin and not those of corporate elites.

The White House is now trying to railroad through Fast Track as a prerequisite for passing the TransPacific Partnership, as well as the TransAltantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).  Under Fast Track, Congress will have no power to amend either sweeping trade deal. Worse yet, they are so secretive that much of Congress – including Rep. Kind – has not been allowed to even see a draft. Read Full Article »

Research Details Deluge of Spending by Opponents to GMO Labeling

February 25th, 2015

Final Infographic Spotlights Dueling Food Brands on Colorado and Oregon Initiatives

For the third election cycle in a row, biotech corporations and large agribusinesses narrowly defeated statewide citizen initiatives that would have mandated the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients on food packages. This time the electoral showdowns took place in Oregon, where it was narrowly defeated, and Colorado where the loss was decisive after labeling backers chose to focus their resources on Oregon.

As in past campaigns in California (2012) and Washington (2013), the votes sparked a high-stakes bidding war pitting consumer and farmer advocates against multi-billion-dollar biotechnology interests and food industry giants.

Corporate opponents of labeling contributed unprecedented amounts of money in Oregon to narrowly push the No vote, ever so marginally, over the 50% mark.

The Cornucopia Institute has released an updated infographic that examines the final dollar totals spent on the state referendums.  Read Full Article »

The Cornucopia Institute
P.O. Box 126 Cornucopia, Wisconsin 54827
Ph: 608-625-2000