Cornucopia News Archive

USDA Survey Asks Question About GMO Contamination and Drift

Thursday, March 19th, 2015
Source: Environmental Illness Network

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) is completing its USDA Organic Survey.

Although farmers don’t often appreciate surveys, this one has some critical questions about GMO presence in Section 10.  NASS is trying to collect information on problems farmers have had with GMO contamination of their organic crops they have sold.

They are accepting the surveys on-line until April 3rd at www.agcensus.usda.gov.  If you complete it by paper and mail it they will probably still accept it.  Federal law requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential.

Results from the survey will be published in August 2015.  For more information about the Organic Survey call 888.424.7828 or visit http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/Organic_Survey/. Read Full Article »

Yogurt Scorecard FAQ

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

by Jason Cole

In December of 2014, Cornucopia released its latest report, Culture Wars: How the Food Giants Turned Yogurt, a Health Food, into Junk Food. The report accuses marketers such as Dannon, Yoplait, and Chobani of misleading consumers into purchasing yogurts with very high levels of sugar and a wide variety of potentially unsafe additives.

Cornucopia also published an accompanying scorecard that rates yogurt brands on their usage of these additives and on other factors such as the amount of added sugar and whether the brands are certified organic. Due to the enormous size of the yogurt market, the scorecard rates brands of yogurt, rather than individual products.

Since the publication of Culture Wars, Cornucopia has received a number of questions from the public. Listed below are some of the most common ones, along with answers that will make the scorecard more useful. Read Full Article »

Your Comments Needed: National List Too Long to Review Thoroughly

Thursday, March 12th, 2015
StackedPapers CA2M
Source: CA2M

By law, The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) must review every substance on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) every five years. This is to ensure that each material still meets the criteria stated in the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA, of the 1990 Farm Bill).

Since the organic regulations were not fully implemented until 2002, the 2017 Sunset Materials up for discussion at this year’s NOSB meetings includes the majority of materials on the National List (materials are reviewed 2 years in advance of their sunset date). This means over 200 materials are up for review at the upcoming Spring and Fall NOSB meetings!

As only a small percentage of materials will be given an updated technical review, which would ensure the materials meet up to date rigorous scientific standards of safety and essentiality, it is unlikely that many of these materials will be given the proper review required. Read Full Article »

Is Hydroponics Organic?

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

[For more on this, read Cornucopia’s white paper The Organic Hydroponics Dichotomy: Can a Soil-less Growing System be “Organic”?]

USDA’s Organic Program Allows Soil-less Practice Over NOSB’s Objections

By Linley Dixon, Ph.D.

The NOSB formally recommended that hydroponic
systems, such as the lettuce farm above, be
prohibited from organic certification.
(Source: DollarPhotoClub)

Hydroponics is a technology for growing terrestrial plants with their roots in nutrient solutions (water with dissolved fertilizers) rather than soil. Hydroponic production is not mentioned in the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990; however, in 2010 the National Organic Standards Board formally recommended that hydroponic systems be prohibited from obtaining organic certification.

In direct contradiction to the Board’s recommendations, the USDA’s National Organic Program has sided with industry lobbyists pronouncing that hydroponics is allowed. And, despite the objections of many organic stakeholders, some accredited certifying agents are certifying hydroponic operations. Read Full Article »

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

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Final Infographic Spotlights Dueling Food Brands on Colorado and Oregon Initiatives

For the third election cycle in a row, biotech corporations and large agribusinesses narrowly defeated statewide citizen initiatives that would have mandated the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients on food packages. This time the electoral showdowns took place in Oregon, where it was narrowly defeated, and Colorado where the loss was decisive after labeling backers chose to focus their resources on Oregon.

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
Read Full Article »