Cornucopia News Archive

Remembering Jerry Brunetti

Monday, January 12th, 2015

jerry-kittensMany people have been touched by Jerry Brunetti’s educational work on soil health and animal nutrition (and their impact on human health) over the years.

Jerry was a long time Cornucopia member, supporter and a friend.

Someone Jerry was very close to, and a mutual friend, Will Winter DVM, has written an eloquent, short tribute to Jerry that, if you knew him, I’m sure you will want to read.  We have also put together a slideshow that, I think, captures a modicum of Jerry’s oversized love of life, animals and other people.  Click here for the tribute and slideshow.

If you are interested in doing so, a link at the end of the article will enable you to contribute to a memorial fund in Jerry’s name benefiting PASA.

Mark A. Kastel
Codirector – The Cornucopia Institute Read Full Article »

Tribally Supported Agriculture

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

By Melody Morrell

It is likely you have heard of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), but how about Tribally Supported Agriculture (TSA)? The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) in Minnesota started planting their Wozupi (“garden” in Dakotah) in 2010, providing certified organic, locally grown whole foods to the surrounding community using fair labor practices and environmentally sustainable methods.

Wozupi Tribal Gardens has 12 acres
under organic cultivation.

Today, there are 12 acres under cultivation, providing heirloom and tribally significant crops including vegetables, herbs, and fruit through their TSA, farmers market, and natural food market, Mazopiya. Bees, goats, and chickens thrive, and maple sap becomes syrup.

“Wozupi is seen as a community service,” says Director Rebecca Yoshino. The gardens provide produce at deep discounts to the tribe’s casino restaurants and all community-operated departments (Educare, Education, Health and Wellness, and Mazopiya). They donate TSA shares to Scott County Native American families identified by SMSC’s Family and Children Services department, and make weekly donations to the local food shelf. A prescription fruit and vegetable program is also being discussed. Read Full Article »

Study Finds Higher Rates of Diabetes in Women Who Work With Certain Pesticides

Friday, December 19th, 2014

by Rebecca Thistlethwaite

Source: Jill Brown

A recent article in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine (Starling AP, et al. Occup Environ Med 2014; O:1-7) discusses the elevated diabetes risk for wives of farmers and pesticide applicators in both Iowa and North Carolina. The study found an increased risk of diabetes for women who used five distinct classes of pesticides. Similar risks were found among men who mixed pesticides- this study looked specifically at women who had ever mixed or applied pesticides themselves.

Not only do men and women have different pesticide exposure rates depending on how involved they are in the mixing and application of pesticides, their individual bodies are also thought to metabolize, or process, pesticides in different ways. This particular research sought to better understand how pesticide exposure affects women, with an emphasis on diabetes risk. Read Full Article »

Investigation: “Factory Farms” Producing Massive Quantities of Organic Milk and Eggs

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Regulations Not Being Enforced—Watchdog Asks for USDA to Remove Program Management

In what has been called one of the largest fraud investigations in the history of the organic industry, The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based farm policy research group, announced filing formal legal complaints against 14 industrial livestock operations producing milk, meat and eggs being marketed, allegedly illegally, as organic.

Aurora Dairy, Stratford, Texas
18,000-head, gaming the system.

After years of inaction by the USDA, Cornucopia contracted for aerial photography in nine states, from West Texas to New York and Maryland, over the past eight months. What they found confirmed earlier site visits: a systemic pattern of corporate agribusiness interests operating industrial-scale confinement livestock facilities providing no legitimate grazing, or even access to the outdoors, as required by federal organic regulations.

A photo gallery of the apparent abuses by the giant certified organic operations in question can be found at

“The federal organic regulations make it very clear that all organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and that ruminants, like dairy cows, must have access to pasture,” said Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst at the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute. “The vast majority of these massive, industrial-scale facilities, some managing 10,000-20,000 head of cattle, and upwards of 1 million laying hens, had 100% of their animals confined in giant buildings or feedlots.” Read Full Article »

Twists and Turns Unfold in the Oregon GMO Food Labeling Ballot Initiative Recount

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

UPDATE:  Judge Henry Kantor has rejected the Yes on 92 Campaign’s appeal to put a restraining order on the Secretary of State to prevent certification of the November 4 election.  The Yes Campaign is currently discussing options following the judge’s decision.

Source: Vox Efx

With only an 812 vote difference (out of 1.5 million cast) favoring the NO side in the Oregon GMO food labeling initiative a recount has gotten underway.

Monsanto and the Big Food opponents of Measure 92, the labeling initiative, are taking desperate measures to ensure the result doesn’t change.  In at least four Oregon counties, the NO campaign attempted to place out-of-state election observers in the recount rooms as their representatives, according the Statesman Journal in Salem Oregon.  The action is a violation of Oregon state law which allows only state electors, or Oregon residents, to have the role.

One of the out-of-state observers, from Virginia, is the director of state affairs for the powerful Grocery Manufacturer’s Association – a huge opponent of state GMO food labeling laws.

In one county, the representative of the NO campaign was found disrupting the attention of the counter and telling them how to do their job. Read Full Article »