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.

As Commodity Prices Drop, GMO Seed Prices Continue to Rise

September 27th, 2016

Cornucopia’s Take: GMO crops were sold as a miracle to some farmers, making weeding and extra tilling unnecessary. Over time many GMO farmers have reverted to conventional seeds to save money, as GMO yields stagnate and superweeds emerge, plus markets are growing for non-GMO foods. Monsanto’s impending sale to Bayer ignores these mounting concerns.

Behind the Monsanto Deal, Doubts About the GMO Revolution
The Wall Street Journal
by Jacob Bunge

Farmers are reconsidering the use of biotech seeds as it becomes harder to justify their high prices amid the measly returns of the current farm economy

Source: Regan76

Behind a wave of multibillion-dollar mergers in the agriculture business is a moment of change in American farming. The dominance of genetically modified crops is under threat.

Since their introduction to U.S. farms 20 years ago, genetically engineered seeds have become like mobile phones—multifunctional and ubiquitous. Scientists inserted genes to make crops repel insects, survive amid powerful herbicides, survive on less water and yield oils with less saturated fat, in turn eliminating farmers’ amateur chemistry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates this year that 94% of soybean acres were planted with biotech varieties, and 92% of corn acres. Read Full Article »

Big Pharma Buys Into Big Ag

September 26th, 2016

Cornucopia’s Take: Bayer, a German pharmaceutical and pesticide company, has announced its intention to buy Monsanto. This move will consolidate control over agricultural products even further.

Chemical Giant Bayer Agrees To Buy Monsanto For $66 Billion
NPR – The Two-Way
by Camila Domonoske

monsantoThe German pharmaceutical and chemical giant Bayer says it will buy U.S. seed seller Monsanto for $66 billion in an all-cash deal that will create the world’s largest supplier of seeds and agricultural chemicals.

The takeover offer, which Monsanto has accepted, is $4 billion more than Bayer had initially offered and a 44 percent premium over Monsanto’s stock price on May 9, a day before negotiations began. Bayer says it will be taking on $57 billion in debt to finance the purchase, which is the largest-ever foreign acquisition by a German company. Read Full Article »

Carrageenan Advisory

September 26th, 2016
Source: Anders Adermark

Many companies that use carrageenan in their food and personal care products vehemently defend its use. It’s not unusual to see rhetoric on their websites that comes directly from the carrageenan trade group lobby. These companies choose to ignore independently funded research (i.e. by the National Institute of Health), in favor of industry-funded studies.

When Dr. Bronner’s, a food and personal care products company known for their dedication to sourcing organic and fair trade ingredients, learned about the carrageenan controversy, the company immediately stated that they would remove it from their then recently introduced toothpaste. That was over a year ago.

It has come to our attention that some of their old inventory containing carrageenan still exists in the market. Their peppermint flavor, the bestseller, appears to be completely carrageenan free at this point. But some of their cinnamon and anise flavored products might still exist in the marketplace containing the ingredient. Please read packaging carefully.
All of Dr. Bronner’s current toothpaste production is carrageenan-free.

For more on toothpaste, read Cornucopia’s report, Behind the Dazzling Smile: Toxic Ingredients in Your Toothpaste. Read Full Article »

Glyphosate in Honey

September 23rd, 2016

Cornucopia’s Take: As glyphosate use becomes more and more common, bees are collecting more of it by way of pollen, and it has become ubiquitous in honey. Cornucopia supports organic agriculture, where toxic synthetic herbicides like glyphosate are not allowed.

FDA Finds Monsanto’s Weed Killer In U.S. Honey
Huffington Post
by Carey Gillam

Source: Dino Giordano

The Food and Drug Administration, under public pressure to start testing samples of U.S. food for the presence of a pesticide that has been linked to cancer, has some early findings that are not so sweet.

In examining honey samples from various locations in the United States, the FDA has found fresh evidence that residues of the weed killer called glyphosate can be pervasive – found even in a food that is not produced with the use of glyphosate. All of the samples the FDA tested in a recent examination contained glyphosate residues, and some of the honey showed residue levels double the limit allowed in the European Union, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. There is no legal tolerance level for glyphosate in honey in the United States. Read Full Article »

OFARM and Food & Water Watch Request USDA/OIG Audit of “Organic” Grain Imports

September 22nd, 2016

The Milkweed
by Pete Hardin

Source: USDA

An organic grain producers group and a citizens’ advocacy organization have filed a complaint with USDA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) requesting a deeper look at the integrity of imported organic grains.

The two organizations are OFARM and Food & Water Watch.  Their complaint was stated in a September 1, 2016 letter to Inspector General Phyllis K. Fong.  OIG is currently auditing the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) oversight of an organic equivalency agreement between the United States and the European Union (EU).  As part of their letter to USDA/OIG, OFARM and Food & Water Watch requested that OIG:

“…examine the dramatic increase in the import of organic commodities, especially grains.  A key area of concern for U.S. organic grain growers, and increasingly for consumers, is whether these increased imports present an opportunity for fraudulently labeled organic products to enter the United states, undermining the opportunity for U.S. producers to get a fair price in the market.” Read Full Article »

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