Cornucopia News Archive

Town Hall Meeting: Pay Now or Pay Later — We Can’t Afford Not to Eat Organic Food

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Mark Kastel Poster v2Mark Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst 
at The Cornucopia Institute, a farm policy research group based in Wisconsin, will present a talk entitled:  Connecting the Dots: Climate Change, Human Health and the Economy — We Can’t Afford Not to Eat Organic Food.  The speech will be held in the Park School Auditorium on the Ithaca College campus on April 14, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

Kastel is a nationally recognized expert on food and farm policy. The Cornucopia Institute acts as an organic industry watchdog.

With the cheapest food in the world, and the most expensive health care, the US has health outcomes that are rapidly falling behind the rest of the industrialized world. Read Full Article »

Carrageenan Update

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

What Cornucopia Is Doing to Remove this Inflammatory Ingredient from Organics

by Will Fantle

Source: iStock

Part of The Cornucopia Institute’s commitment to protecting the integrity of organics has been increased scrutiny given to non-organic and synthetic materials proposed for use in organic agriculture or in the processing of organic food products. Federal regulations ban the use of these materials unless specifically reviewed and approved. The substance must be deemed essential (without natural or organic alternatives), and its manufacture, use and disposal must not harm the environment. Most importantly, it must not harm human health.

Should a material pass these thresholds, it is placed on the USDA’s National List of allowed and prohibited substances. These permitted materials require after five years another similar review by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to determine whether or not they should remain on the National List.

One of Cornucopia’s wake-up calls regarding National List materials came with the controversial approval and listing of a synthetic, algae-based DHA oil for use in organic foods in 2011 (see our report Replacing Mother: Infant Formula Report). The questionable approval of DHA, pushed through by raw corporate power, led Cornucopia to take a much closer look at all non-organic and synthetic substances proposed for use in organics (or up for sunset renewal). Read Full Article »

Democracy in the Grocery Aisle?

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Commentary by Will Fantle

Source: iStock

One of the more interesting takeaways from the state-based battle to enact GMO food ingredient labeling has been the deluge of money that Monsanto, their biotech allies, and Big Food corporate interests have been willing to spend to drown out your right-to-know about what you are putting in your mouth. Cornucopia’s research reveals that these supporters of ignorance have collectively showered more than $100 million on the four state referendums to date, in California, Washington, Colorado and Oregon.

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Citizens United, whatever constraints existed on corporate spending in elections have evaporated. Although state referendums are a different electoral animal, the willingness of corporate power to spend all that they need to prevail has been fully demonstrated. They have juiced the system and tilted electoral power in their direction. Read Full Article »

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 »