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.
June 24th, 2016
Center for Food Safety
Nonprofits laud decision upholding organic integrity as federal court closes pesticides loophole
Synthetic pesticides are once again prohibited in compost used for organic production, thanks to a federal court in the Northern District of California. The court issued a decision in litigation brought by several nonprofits challenging the United States Department of Agriculture’s allowance of pesticide contamination in compost used in organic food production. Center for Food Safety, Center for Environmental Health and Beyond Pesticides filed the case in April 2015, arguing that USDA had unlawfully changed organic regulations to create a new pesticide loophole without first undertaking a formal rulemaking and allowing the public to participate in any such decision. Yesterday, Judge Corley of the U.S. Federal Court for the Northern District of California agreed, ruling that USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) violated the law when it issued what it called a “guidance” that weakened the long-standing prohibition on synthetic pesticides in organic compost, and striking it down. Read Full Article »
June 24th, 2016
Organic Seed Alliance
Farmer contacts for media:
Richard Moyer, Moyer Family Farm, Castlewood, Virginia
Dale Coke, Coke Farm, Aromas, California
Jim McGreevy, Cloudview EcoFarms, Royal City, Washington
Organic Seed Alliance releases first five-year progress report on organic seed
Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) released its first five-year update today on the status of organic seed. The report, State of Organic Seed, 2016, is part of an ongoing project to measure progress in increasing farmer access to organic seed in the US.
Organic farmers produce food differently, and that means they need different seed for the crops they grow: seed developed to thrive without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and adapted to their local climate and soil conditions. Read Full Article »
June 23rd, 2016
by Robert Audette
The Vermont Attorney General’s Office is asking a federal judge to force Syngenta Corporation and Dupont to turn over internal studies relating to the safety of genetically modified organisms.
The state is asking the manufacturers of genetically engineered seeds — such as DuPont, Syngenta, Dow, Monsanto and Bayer — to turn over any studies conducted into the health and environmental impacts of those products and the producers of foods containing GE ingredients — such as Frito-Lay, Kellog’s and ConAgra — to release consumer surveys to see if these companies know what their consumers think when they see the word “natural.”
In May 2014, the Vermont Legislature enacted Act 120, which requires the labeling of foods produced or partially produced with genetic engineering or containing genetically modified ingredients and prohibits the labeling of such foods as “natural.”
In response to the state’s request for the documents, Syngenta and Dupont claim the state’s motions are untimely; the documents sought are irrelevant to the underlying litigation; and it is too burdensome to look for the documents. Read Full Article »
June 23rd, 2016
The Cornucopia Institute joined nearly 200 other organizations in sending letters to the USDA, EPA, and Congress urging that they take action to protect pollinators from harmful pesticides and that they support sustainable agriculture. You can read the letter to the EPA below, including the specific action plan outlined for pollinator protection. The letters to the USDA and Congress can be found in this PDF.
June 22, 2016
Administrator Gina McCarthy
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
Dear Administrator McCarthy,
Research shows, bee toxic pesticides are a leading contributor to honey bee decline. On behalf of the undersigned beekeepers and organizations representing millions of members and supporters nationwide, we urge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take the following specific actions to protect bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators as well as farmers, beekeepers, farmworkers, and consumers. Read Full Article »
June 22nd, 2016
New York Times
by Kim Severson
HAVANA — Being an agricultural official in Cuba these days is like living in a resort town all your friends want to visit. You rarely get a moment to yourself.
For months, Havana’s government offices and its prettiest urban farms have been filled with American bureaucrats, seed sellers, food company executives and farmers who spend their evenings eating meals made with ingredients often imported or smuggled into restaurants that most Cubans can’t afford.
They seek the prizes that are likely to come if the United States ends its trade restrictions against Cuba: a new supply of sugar, coffee and tropical produce, and a new market for American exports that could reap more than $1.2 billion a year in sales, according to the United States Chamber of Commerce. Read Full Article »