Cornucopia News Archive

Are You An Organic Farming Champion?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Position Open: Development and Communications Director

CI_HiringDevelopmentCommsDirector_2The Cornucopia Institute is seeking a full-time employee to join our team.  The Development and Communications Director will oversee Cornucopia’s development efforts and be intimately involved in its communications strategies and execution.

This individual will oversee the organization’s revenue development (including proposal writing and grants administration, fundraising mailings, occasional fundraising events, etc).  This person will also be involved with Cornucopia’s many communications vehicles (research reports, electronic and print newsletters, infographics, etc.).

A heartfelt passion for protecting the environment, the good food movement, human health, humane livestock husbandry, and social/economic justice for family farmers is essential.  Read Full Article »

Biotechnology Proponent’s Recipe to Defend GMOs Produces a Stew Blending Orwellian Rhetoric with Sheer Demagoguery

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

by Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute

Mark Kastel

A commentary in the December 29 edition of the Wall Street Journal, by Julie Kelly, a prolific defender of the biotechnology industry and a self-identified suburban mom, cooking instructor, and accidental activist, claimed that in 2015 genetically engineered food made great progress despite “fear mongering” from the “culinary elite.”

Since the vast majority of U.S. citizens support informational labeling on food regarding its GMO (genetically modified organism) status, that’s a pretty sizable percentage of the population to refer to as the “elite.” Nonetheless, Kelly’s winning examples actually make a pretty compelling case for why consumers are uneasy with the technology and want the ability to choose: Read Full Article »

Legal Update

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

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

Federal Lawsuit Challenging USDA Power Grab Dismissed/Refiled
by Will Fantle, Codirector of The Cornucopia Institute


Organics should be a safe haven: Xanthan gum
would have been removed from organics under the
former Sunset process. A thickener and stabilizer,
it is commonly used in baked goods, yogurt, ice
cream, salad dressings, jams, sauces, and other
foods. Xanthan gum has been linked to necrotizing
enterocolitis in infants and gastrointestinal
distress in sensitive individuals.
Source: iStockphoto

The legal maneuverings continue on the challenge to the unilateral changes implemented by the USDA to the process used to approve synthetic and non-organic materials allowed for temporary use in organics. Cornucopia and 13 other stakeholders contend that the changes to the “Sunset” process were consequential, arbitrary, and failed to provide an opportunity for essential public input.

On September 24, federal judge Haywood Gilliam, serving the northern district of California, brought the parties to the court for a dialogue. Gilliam had one question for the plaintiffs concerning an issue of legal “standing” and the harm being experienced by Cornucopia and the other plaintiffs. The attorneys from the Center for Food Safety responded to Gilliam’s concerns. In just nine minutes, the proceeding was over. Read Full Article »

Singing the Song of a Start-up

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

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

by Rachel Zegerius, Communications and Development Associate at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: Frog Song Organics

Nestled in the forests of North Central Florida, just 15 miles east of Gainesville, Amy Van Scoik and John Bitter are part of a burgeoning national network of young farmers adaptably supporting themselves while building resilient and healthy regional food systems. The product of their passion, Frog Song Organic Farm, is a premier example of mindful environmental entrepreneurs learning by doing the economic and social components of a triple-bottom-line sustainable business.

Frog Song’s story provides insight and encouragement regarding one of the foundational challenges experienced by new farmers today: access to quality farmland affordable for purchase. Their journey into land ownership began in 2010, as they researched properties and their soil profiles throughout Florida. Read Full Article »

The Truth About Pet Food

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

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

by Rachel Zegerius, Communications and Development Assistant at The Cornucopia Institute
The author of the pet food report is Cornucopia staff scientist Linley Dixon, Ph.D.

New Report Helps You Choose the Best Brands for Your Four-legged Friends

Source: Dollar Photo Club

Did you know your pet’s food may include dangerous ingredients and harmful chemical compounds? Some of the most expensive brands, labeled “premium,” “natural,” “prescription diet,” or even sometimes “organic,” are often made from adulterated ingredients or contain carcinogenic and inflammatory additives. High prices do not necessarily imply high quality. Illusive labels and deceptive marketing are used by many companies to disguise substandard food.

Cornucopia’s newly released report, Decoding Pet Food: Adulteration, Toxic Ingredients, and the Best Choices for Your Companion Animals, reveals how the pet food industry is regulated, details specific ingredients to avoid, and explains how to keep your pet healthy by choosing wisely at the pet food store and/or preparing their meals at home. Also included with this publication is an online shopper’s guide to help consumers differentiate between high quality, safe pet foods and their more risky alternatives. Read Full Article »