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.

Groups Petition for Emergency EPA Action: “In Wisconsin, Kewaunee County water problems need federal intervention”

October 31st, 2014
Source: Steve Johnson

On October 22, 2014, environmental protection groups formally requested federal action on groundwater contamination issues in Kewaunee County. Thirty percent of tested drinking water wells have unsafe levels of bacteria, high nitrate levels or both.

Midwest Environmental Advocates joined Clean WisconsinEnvironmental Integrity ProjectMidwest Environmental Defense CenterKewaunee CARES and the Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin to jointly file a written Petition for Emergency Action detailing the need for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to exercise its emergency powers under the Safe Drinking Water Act and other federal pollution cleanup laws. These laws empower the EPA to step in to provide safe drinking water in an area where contamination poses serious public health threats. Read Full Article »

Consumer Reports Poll Finds Doctors Concerned About Animal Antibiotic Use

October 31st, 2014

Food Safety News

IMG_0613Source: Alex Prolmos

Physicians are concerned about the agricultural practice of giving antibiotics to healthy animals for growth promotion and disease prevention, according to a poll conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center poll.

The national poll, conducted last month, questioned 500 family practice and internal medicine physicians and found that 93 percent said they are concerned about animal antibiotic use.

Eighty-five percent of the doctors said they had treated a patient with a suspected or confirmed case of an antibiotic-resistant infection within the past year. Read Full Article »

Follow the National Organic Standards Board Meeting in Louisville, KY #NOSB

October 30th, 2014

CI_NOSBKentuckyTwitterOctLast Updated: 10-30-14, 3:38 p.m. ET

Join The Cornucopia Institute as we live tweet from the National Organic Standards Board meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. We will be sharing the play by play with our Twitter followers under #NOSB or simply follow our stream.

If you’re not already following us on Twitter, please do so here.

Read The Cornucopia Institute’s written comments to the NOSB here.

You can also stay updated throughout the meeting right here:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

3:38 p.m. ET:  Following lunch, the NOSB returns to its business and elects its officers for next year.  Jean Richardson (consumer rep) is elected chair, Tracy Favre (conservation rep) is elected vice-chair, and Harold Austin (handler, Zirkle Fruit) is elected secretary.

The NOSB turns its attention to work items for 2015.  More than 100 synthetic and non-organic materials are coming up for sunset review – a daunting task to ensure a full and proper assessment of each substances essentiality and the human health/environment impacts.

Miles McEvoy estimates that $3 million would be required for technical reviews of each substance.  To see a discussion of how lacking this has been at times in the past, see http://www.cornucopia.org/USDA/OrganicWatergateWhitePaper.pdf.

Before adjourning the semiannual meeting, the board honors its four members whose terms expire at the end of this year.

11:29 a.m. ET:  The board votes 12-3 against the removal of tragacanth gum from the National List.

Then they move to take another brief break.

11:25 a.m. ET:  NOSB brings back the tabled motion to consider relisting of tragacanth gum.

Joe Dixon (retailer, Whole Foods) indicates that the fact that a certifier has one client using this material is sufficient to him to indicate tragacanth gum is essential.

Jay Feldman (enviro, Beyond Pesticides) asks if the the new letter from the user of the material that was given to the board yesterday was untimely.

Cornucopia contacted the original petitioner for the allowed use of this material three times.  They never responded, nor did they submit any information in support of keeping this material on the National List.

11:13 a.m. ET:  The full board votes 9 to 6 against removing aqueous potassium silicate from the list.

Prior to the sunset changes imposed by the USDA in Sept. 2013, this material would have no longer been allowed for use in organics. This cuts to the core of the argument that the new process means the sun will never set on nearly every non-organic and synthetic material on or added to the National List. Read Full Article »

Biotech and Agribusinesses Spending Heavily to Defeat State GMO Food Labeling Votes

October 29th, 2014

The Cornucopia Institute releases shopper’s guide red-flagging pro/con food brands involved with Colorado and Oregon Initiatives    [Contribution data will be updated on a weekly or bi-weekly basis until election day, and a final poster will be published in early December.]

INFOGRAPHIC UPDATED 10-29-14: DuPont adds another $4.4 million to the NO side coffers, with Coca Cola pushing another $468K towards a NO vote and Kellogg pumping an additional $250K towards a vote opposing GMO food labeling.  The Big Food and Biotech forces have now spent nearly $33 million opposing the consumers’ right to know that is in their food.  The YES side has raised about $9 million, with significant new donations from the Organic Consumers Association, Center for Food Safety and Lemelson Vineyards.  Full details on corporate spending in the updated infographic below. 

INFOGRAPHIC UPDATED 10-23-14: New money for the NO side comes from Big Food and Biotech interests as DuPont/Pioneer throws in $3 million, Monsanto adds another $2.5 million and Coca Cola spends another $+1 million fighting the consumers right to know what is in their food.  New money supporting the YES vote comes from Clif Bar ($35K) and Hain Celestial ($35K).  The NO forces have raked in nearly $26 million while supporters of GMO food labeling have raised a little more than $8 million. Full details on corporate spending in the updated infographic below.

INFOGRAPHIC UPDATED 10-16-14: More new money from Big Food and Biotech interests flows into fight against GMO food labeling votes in Oregon and Colorado. Coca Cola drops $1.168 million, Pepsi puts up another $1 million, Kraft adds another $870K, with Land O’Lakes putting in an additional $900K. Supporting the consumer’s right to know, the Center for Food Safety adds $1 million, Dr. Bronner’s puts in another $285K, Presence Marketing adds $175K and the Organic Consumers Association spends another $100K. The NO vote forces are outspending supporters by more than 3 to 1. Full details on the updated infographic below.  

UPDATED AGAIN  10-8-14:  Kellogg drops $250K against GMO food labeling + other contribution updates to the YES and NO positions.

UPDATE 10-2-14:  Cornucopia’s GMO food labeling infographic has been updated and now includes the contributions made to the Oregon Right to Know committee, which was organized to help get Measure 92 on the ballot. (Information on contributions for petition gathering are listed separately by the Oregon Secretary of State’s office and were not previously included.)  This update also includes significant additional contributions reported over the last couple days to both the Vote Yes on Measure 92 committee in Oregon, and the Right to Know Colorado committee.  Stay tuned for additional revisions of this infographic based on campaign finance reporting deadlines in Oregon and Colorado!

For a larger, easier to view version of the infographic please click on the image. Once downloaded (please be patient) you can click a second time to enlarge that further. A high-resolution file, suitable for enlargement and printing, can be found at the linked pdf below the graphic image.

Cornucopia, WI: Citizen initiatives on the November 4 ballots in both Colorado and Oregon would mandate clear labeling of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients on food packages. The pending votes have sparked a high-priced battleground pitting consumer and farmer advocates against multi-billion-dollar agribusiness corporations.

Opposition to the state food labeling measures is coming from giant biotech companies (DuPont, Dow and Monsanto), that sell genetically engineered crops, and the well-heeled Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a national business lobbying organization. Millions of dollars are being spent on the two campaigns with advertising blitzes underway.

Now The Cornucopia Institute has released a detailed infographic that reveals which food companies are supporting or opposing the food labeling initiatives (with many of the major manufacturers opposing passage owning leading brands in the natural/organic marketplace).

Measure 92 Prop 105

(click on the image above to view a quick loading larger version,
and then click on it again for an even larger version
)

Download High Resolution PDF for printing purposes by clicking here

“Many consumers will likely be surprised to learn that owners and management of some of their favorite organic and natural brands are fighting against the right of consumers to know what is in their food,” says Mark Kastel, Codirector of The Cornucopia Institute, a farm policy research group. “We want to spotlight this issue so that consumers can vote in the marketplace for manufacturers and brands that reflect their personal values.” Read Full Article »

Organic the Real Natural: Jackie Keller

October 27th, 2014

Organic The Real Natural
Sponsored by OFARM (Organic Farmers’ Agency for Relationship Marketing)

What’s the best way to prevent water pollution from farm chemicals? Jackie Keller, an organic farmer in Kansas, says the answer is simple: “Don’t use them in the first place!” Her water quality award shows organic farming is the way to go. Read Full Article »

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