Cornucopia News Archive

Update: Who Owns Organic Chart Reflects Further Organic Consolidation

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016


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The first wave of acquisitions of organic processors was concentrated between December, 1997 and October, 2002.  This period coincides with the initial release of the draft USDA organic standards and its full implementation in October, 2002. A second wave of acquisitions in the organic sector has been occurring since 2012. Surprisingly few major corporate agribusinesses note ownership ties on their acquisitions’ product labels. Read Full Article »

Non-profit Decodes the Sticky Mess in the Yogurt Wars Between Chobani, Yoplait, and Dannon

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Report Helps Identify Which Yogurts are Health Food Versus Junk Food


report, Culture Wars: How the Food Giants Turned Yogurt, a Health Food, into Junk Food, issued by The Cornucopia Institute, accuses Dannon, Yoplait, Chobani, and other major marketers of misleading parents, who are looking for healthier foods for their families, into purchasing yogurts loaded with sugar and containing a myriad of questionably safe artificial sweeteners, colors, and emulsifiers.

The group alleges that agribusiness, in their marketing approach, has capitalized on yogurt’s historic, well-deserved healthful reputation, while simultaneously adulterating the product to gain competitive advantage and popular appeal.
Read Full Article »

Over 1,500 Organizations Urge Opposition to the TPP

Monday, January 11th, 2016

[NOTE: Cornucopia was among the more than 1,500 organization signing this letter to Congress opposing the TPP.]

FairTradeNotFreeTrade CitizensTradeCampaign

Citizens Trade Campaign

January 7, 2016

Re: Please Oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Dear Representative/Senator:

We urge you to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a binding pact that poses significant threats to American jobs and wages, the environment, food safety and public health, and that falls far short of establishing the high standards the United States should require in a 21st Century trade agreement.

If enacted, the TPP would set rules governing approximately 40% of the global economy, and includes a “docking” mechanism through which not only Pacific Rim nations, but any country in the world, could join over time. The questions policymakers should be asking about these rules is whether, on the whole, they would create American jobs, raise our wages, enhance environmental sustainability, improve public health and advance human rights and democracy. After careful consideration, we believe you will agree, the answer to these questions is no. Read Full Article »

Dairy Detective Work Needed!

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

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

Certified “organic” dairy farm in Texas

We need your help to differentiate the true heroes in organic dairy (family farmers who love their cows) from the giant factory farms producing “organic” milk.

We are beginning the process of a comprehensive update of Cornucopia’s organic dairy brand scorecard. Our goal is to ensure we score every organic dairy brand in the United States. This will provide you, as a consumer, the most up-to-date information on the status of our nation’s organic dairy brands.

How can you help? Go to your favorite groceries or farm stores and look for organic dairy products – and make a list of what you see there. Cornucopia has already identified many of the national brands, but we want to know what is available in your local market.

We are interested in scoring all brands, not just those producing fluid milk products – so look for organic yogurt, butter, and cheese as well! At a minimum, we need the name of any organic dairy brands, but any contact information on the brand packaging would also be helpful.

Please note, we are only rating certified organic brands so please look for the USDA organic seal or the word “organic” on the packaging.

Please contact Jason Cole at or 608-637-8278 with any questions and/or the names of any brands you see on your local grocery store shelves. Read Full Article »

FDA Rolls Out Food Safety Rules

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

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

by Will Fantle, Codirector at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: Dollar Photo Club

The FDA has released the first section of its final rules that are part of the Food Safety Management Act. This rule covers practices at facilities that sell human food. The rule, which focuses on businesses that manufacture, process, pack, hold, or store food, has several important pieces impacting farmers, and includes some victories.

One such gain clearly defines farm activities and clarifies the meaning of harvesting and packing. The cleaning and bagging of produce is defined as part of normal farm activities—not food manufacturing—something that’s very important to CSA farms and those selling directly to consumers. Another key definition, according to Judith McGeary of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, and a Cornucopia ally, allows multiple farm owners and multiple locations. This, she notes, reflects the reality of modern farming. Read Full Article »