Cornucopia News Archive

Cornucopia Signs on to Protect Pollinators

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
Source: Mike Lewinski

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 »

Will Carrageenan Remain in Organic Food?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Removal of Carcinogenic Substance Uncertain Due to Industry Lobbying

[This article was previously published in the summer issue of The Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.]

by Linley Dixon, PhD
Farm and Food Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: Adobe Stock

The FDA is responsible for ensuring the safety of more than 9,000 food additives used in conventional foods, a number that former Deputy Commissioner Taylor admits is beyond their capacity.

Evaluating the continued use of food additives in organic food, however, is the responsibility of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), which sets a much higher bar according to the regulations set forth in the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA). This year, assessing the safety of carrageenan for continued use in organic foods is on the NOSB’s agenda. Carrageenan is commonly found in dairy products, deli meats, salad dressings, toothpaste, pet food, and vegan products.

Carrageenan, derived from red seaweed, is considered a “synthetic substance” due to its extraction process and is mandated for an NOSB review by Congress every five years. Carrageenan’s use as an emulsifier and thickener is highly controversial, because independent research indicates it is a potent trigger of inflammation and a possible carcinogen. Read Full Article »

Help Protect Vermont’s GMO Food Labeling Law

Monday, June 13th, 2016

If Not Blocked, Vermont’s Law May Usher in GMO Labeling Nationwide!

Source: Alexandra E Rust

Vermont’s landmark GMO food labeling law is scheduled to take effect on July 1. Monsanto and the Big Food opponents of the law are scrambling in the U.S. Senate to come up with a federal law to block or preempt Vermont’s state law. Millions are being spent to keep you uninformed.

Take action to stop Big Ag from preempting the Vermont law. Call (202) 224-3121 to connect to the U.S. Capitol Switchboard. Operators will connect you directly to your Senator’s office. Please tell your Senator that you want them to stand up and protect your right to know what is in your food.   Read Full Article »

Proposed Organic Animal Welfare Rule Comment Period Extended to July 13, 2016

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

AnimalWelfareRuleAlertThe USDA has extended the comment period for the proposed organic animal welfare rule on organic livestock and poultry practices until July 13, 2016.

Cornucopia and a number of other organizations and elected officials had asked for an extension. Cornucopia has significant concerns about portions of the complex rule.  Please see our action alert for more information on how you can protect the best organic farmers. Read Full Article »

Cornucopia Response: Washington Post Opinion Writer Misses the Mark on Organics

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Tamar Haspel’s recent opinion piece on organic versus conventional agriculture missed the handicap that organics has in documenting its many benefits to society.

Ms. Haspel suggested she was using “neutral” scientists to make an (organic) apple to (conventional) apple comparison. However, relying on the USDA, overwhelmingly committed to biotechnology and agrochemicals, or land-grant university researchers, where the primary research funding comes from conventional agricultural interests, doesn’t leave one confident that biased influences are not in-play.

Organic Orchard
Source: Oregon Dept. of Agriculture
Conventional Orchard
Source: UNDP

Read Full Article »