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.
March 7th, 2014
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Docket No. APHIS–2013–0042
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD
APHIS, Station 3A–03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737–1238
March 5, 2014
The Cornucopia Institute is a 501(c)(3) public interest organization engaged in farm and food policy research and education. We are proud to represent approximately 10,000 members, who support healthy food and sustainable farms. Additionally, we believe we have more certified organic farmer members than any other similar organization. We submit the following comments on Docket # APHIS-2013-0042.
Cornucopia opposes the approval of genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybeans resistant to broadleaf herbicides, particularly the herbicide 2,4–D. There are two separate, but equally important, reasons for rejection of this petition. First, the herbicide itself harms humans and the environment. Second, the genetically engineered (GE) DNA harms humans, animals, and the environment. Read Full Article »
March 6th, 2014
by Elizabeth Dunbar
A group of Minnesota beekeepers on Wednesday asked state agriculture officials to suspend the use of corn seeds treated with certain pesticides.
The petition signed by 40 beekeepers blames neonicotinoid pesticides for killing honeybees.
Currently, Minnesota farmers only have access to seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides, but central Minnesota beekeeper Steve Ellis said that needs to change.
“Beekeepers in Minnesota last year and in years previous have been reporting mortality events at corn seeding time,” said Ellis, who has about 2,500 hives in Barrett, Minn. “Apparently the dust is getting off of the corn seeding and going off site and causing poisoning of honey bees on flowers and around their hives.” Read Full Article »
March 6th, 2014
The Salt on NPR
by Dan Charles
It’s easy to think of “organic” and “non-GMO” as the best buddies of food. They sit comfortably beside each other in the same grocery stores — most prominently, in Whole Foods Market. Culturally, they also seem to occupy the same space. Both reject aspects of mainstream industrial agriculture.
In fact, the increasingly successful movement to eliminate genetically modified crops — GMOs — from food is turning out to be organic’s false friend. The non-GMO label has become a cheaper alternative to organic.
“More and more, there’s concern [among organic food companies] that they created a monster,” says Mark Kastel, a pro-organic activist who’s co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute. Read Full Article »
March 5th, 2014
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will finalize its comment period this week on the feasibility of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and non-GMO crops to coexist. Today, to highlight prevalent problems that already exist, Food & Water Watch in partnership with theOrganic Farmers’ Agency for Relationship Marketing (OFARM) released survey results showing contamination from GMO crops and how it’s non-GMO farmers who are paying the price.
The survey included farmers from 17 states primarily in the Midwest. It was conducted in an effort to fill the data gap that was used to justify an inadequate policy recommendation by the USDA Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21), according to a press release. Read Full Article »
March 4th, 2014
The New York Times
by Blain Roberts and Ethan J. Kytle
FRESNO, Calif. — EVERY Saturday in late December and January, as reports of brutal temperatures and historic snowfalls streamed in from family in Vermont, New York and even southern Louisiana, we made weekly pilgrimages to our local beer garden to enjoy craft brews and unseasonably warm afternoons.
Normal winters here in Fresno, in the heart of California’s Central Valley, bring average highs in the 50s, steady periods of rain and drizzle, and the dense, bone-chilling Tule fog that can blanket the valley for days and even weeks on end.
But not this year. Instead, early 2014 gave us cloudless skies and midday temperatures in the 70s. By the end of January, it seemed like April, with spring trees in full bloom.
We fretted over the anomalous weather, to be sure. Read Full Article »