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.

Research: Bisphenol A (BPA) Causes 100x More Harm Than Previously Imagined

May 22nd, 2015

Health Impact News
by Sayer Ji

Source: Steven Depolo

A recent study reveals just how profoundly misled we are about Bisphenol A and its analogs: they are at least 100x more toxic than we previously imagined.

An alarming new study establishes that the commonly used chemical bisphenol A used in tens of thousands of consumer products, and its lesser known but increasingly prevalent analogs, bisphenol S and F, are several orders of magnitude more disruptive to the endocrine systems of the developing male human fetus than previous toxicological risk assessments were capable of determining.

The new study was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility and titled, “A new chapter in the bisphenol A story: bisphenol S and bisphenol F are not safe alternatives to this compound.” Read Full Article »

Five Vacancies Open for Nominations on the National Organic Standards Board

May 22nd, 2015

The 15-member National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is seeking to fill five pending vacancies.  The vacancies include two organic farmers/producers, two public or consumer interest representatives, and one USDA accredited certifying agent.  The terms for the volunteer board are five years and would begin in January 2016.

Information on how to apply, if you are interested, can be found here.

The NOSB plays a key role in determining the use of synthetic and non-organic materials allowed for use in organic food and agriculture, and in advising the USDA Secretary on all aspects of organic policy.  The five retiring members of the NOSB include several of the staunchest advocates for organic integrity. Read Full Article »

Neonicotinoid Pesticide Implicated in Monarch Butterfly Declines

May 21st, 2015

by Jérôme Rigot, PhD

CatwillowMonarchArea_Susannah Rogers USDA Forest Service
Source: Susannah Rogers,
USDA Forest Service

USDA researchers have identified the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin as a likely contributor to monarch butterfly declines in North America. The USDA research was published online April 3rd, 2015 in the journal Science of Nature.

Neonicotinoids have been strongly implicated in pollinator declines worldwide; they are neurotoxins that are partially banned in the European Union. A recent report indicates (see references at the end of full article) that neonicotinoids, such as clothianidin (Bayer), are a particular hazard because, unlike most pesticides, they are soluble molecules. From soil or seed treatments they can reach nectar and are found in pollen.

Neonicotinoids are now the most widely used pesticides in the world. Read Full Article »

New Data Confirms Second-Worst Year on Record for Honey Bees

May 21st, 2015

Pesticide Action Network North America
by Lex Horan

Source: Light Brigading

This morning, federal officials released new survey data on honey bee losses from 2014-2015. The annual survey, conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership, US Department of Agriculture, and the Apiary Inspectors of America, found that 2014-2015 was the second-worst year on record for honey bees, with total losses spiking to 42.1%. Summer losses in 2014 were especially high at 27.4%, a marked increase from 2013 summer losses of 19.8%.

Emily Marquez, PhD, staff scientist at Pesticide Action Network, released the following statement:

“Pesticide corporations can’t spin their way out of the threats to our food system. The new survey released today continues to point to the real world challenges bees and beekeepers face and the unsustainable use of bee-harming pesticides, especially the widespread use of pesticide-coated seeds. Read Full Article »

Latest USDA Scandal: Organic Program Dismisses Legal Complaints Targeting Factory Farms — Without Investigating

May 20th, 2015

Watchdog Asks OIG to Investigate “Unholy Alliance” Between Industry Lobbyists and Regulators

The Cornucopia Institute harshly criticized the USDA for its failure to conduct an investigation of 14 legal complaints filed by the Wisconsin-based organic industry watchdog group last December.  The complaints allege a systemic pattern of livestock management violations occurring on some of the nation’s biggest certified organic “factory farm” poultry and dairy operations.

In their brief letter to Cornucopia, the National Organic Program‘s (NOP) director of Compliance and Enforcement stated that the agency “has determined that an investigation is unwarranted.”  Last December, after an investment of seven months and tens of thousands of dollars, Cornucopia filed 14 complaints with the NOP utilizing evidence primarily gathered through high resolution aerial photographic examinations of industrial-scale certified organic dairies and poultry operations.  The hundreds of images taken documented an overwhelming absence of dairy cows on pasture, and the exclusive confinement of hundreds of thousands of egg laying hens and meat birds inside buildings.

A related article was produced, today, by the Washington Post, as a follow-up to an exclusive story the paper ran outlining the allegations against the industrial-scale, organic livestock operations, when they were initially filed in December 2014.

The massive Herbrucks egg laying operation in Saranac, Michigan,
according to state regulatory filings licensed for 1.15 million birds.
Read Full Article »

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