Cornucopia News Archive

You Asked for It! Cornucopia Clarifies What Organics Is and What It Isn’t

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

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

by Melody Morrell, Data Analyst & Research Specialist at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: Adobe Stock

The Cornucopia Institute is proud to represent thousands of members within the good food movement. Our research and educational efforts support the integrity of the organic label. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions posed on our social media:

Can we trust the USDA organic seal; what about local? What’s more important?

The organic label is the most stringently regulated label on foods in the marketplace. If you have access to local organic food, you can meet your farmer, learn how your food is grown, and enjoy the ultimate in freshness, nutrition, and community building!

Although Cornucopia takes issue with less-than-satisfactory oversight by the USDA, allowing “organic” factory farms to operate illegally and imports through without thorough scrutiny, we strongly recommend all certified organics over conventionally produced food. Read Full Article »

Report Finds Toxins/Carcinogens in Popular Brands of Toothpaste

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Scorecard Identifies the “Dirtiest” and Safest, Even Organic, Alternatives

Toothpaste_Report_coverThe latest report by The Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry watchdog, uncovers serious problems in cosmetics industry regulations. Regulatory weaknesses and loopholes allow for the use of questionable, even harmful ingredients in personal care products, such as toothpastes, that could negatively impact the health of the users.

Behind the Dazzling Smile:  Toxic Ingredients in Your Toothpaste, describes how the quality of “natural” toothpastes varies significantly between brands and how these personal oral care products commonly include nonessential ingredients that may be harmful.

“The cosmetics industry is no different, and may be worse, than leading food companies when it comes to gimmicky ingredients and misleading health claims,” asserts the report’s lead author Jerome Rigot, PhD, a policy analyst at The Cornucopia Institute. “However, we have created a useful web-based tool to help discriminating consumers see through marketing hype and make the best decision for their family when buying toothpaste.” Read Full Article »

Organic Industry Watchdog Asks DOJ to Block Merger

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

France’s Groupe Danone’s purchase of WhiteWave would combine Stonyfield, Horizon and Wallaby to Dominate the Organic Dairy Market

The French dairy giant, Groupe Danone (Dannon in the U.S.) has announced the proposed acquisition of WhiteWave Foods for approximately $10 billion. The deal would combine the world’s largest organic yogurt brand, Stonyfield, with Wallaby, a rapidly growing yogurt label, and the nation’s largest brand of organic milk, Horizon. The Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry watchdog, said they were formally challenging the acquisition based on the serious erosion of competition it would create in the consumer marketplace and the negative economic impact it would have on U.S. organic dairy farmers.

WhiteWaveWhiteWave brands are the top sellers in their categories. Horizon organic milk controls nearly 25% of the organic milk market, while their Silk brand is a leader in plant-based beverages. Danone will be taking control of a bigger piece of the organic dairy market than has ever been controlled by a single company before.

“With this acquisition we are concerned that Danone will easily be able to beat out any competition by lowering prices beyond what farmstead dairies, and more moderately sized milk processors and marketers, can withstand,” said Marie Burcham, a livestock policy analyst with the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute.
Read Full Article »

Undisturbed Ecosystems Benefit Everyone

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Why Not to Convert Native Land to Organic Management

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

by Marie Burcham, JD
Farm and Food Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: Adobe Stock

As consumers become more educated about the strain conventional agriculture places on human and environmental health, the organic market is also facing an increase in demand. Industrial-scale agriculture is one of the primary causes of ecosystem and biodiversity losses. Driven by higher demand, there is increasing pressure to convert even more land for use in food production.

This land use, combined with increasing environmental pressures from climate change, pollution, and population growth, has a cumulative effect on the environment. Wild spaces are being lost at an unprecedented pace due to these pressures. Read Full Article »

Gathering of the Agrarian Elders

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Reflections from the Country’s Best Local Farmers

[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: 2-Dog-Farm

The Elders gathered for a second time this past January. They were joined by 13 “Youngers” to exchange ideas and information with the next generation of farmers and discuss the future of organic and sustainable farming.The “Agrarian Elders,” a group of legendary organic farmers, first formally met in January of 2014 at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA with the goal of sharing and preserving the wisdom from their combined 800 years of growing experience.

Many of us are seriously concerned about the future of agriculture. However, the Agrarian Elders have already provided us with a roadmap toward a locally based, truly sustainable food system. In defiance of the status quo, they have courageously modeled their lives around hard work, a sense of place, innovation, and forward-looking ideas. Read Full Article »