Media/News Archive

Big Drop in Neonics in Pollinator Plants at Big Box Stores

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Cornucopia’s Take: Increasing consumer awareness is clearly encouraging stores to consider pollinators as they procure garden plants for sale. Voting with our forks as well as our gardens is changing what is available in the marketplace.

Big drop found in neonicotinoid content of home stores’ ‘bee-friendly’ flowers
by Ron Meador

Source: Marcia Cirillo

Big progress is being made on one small battlefield of the war to protect bees and other pollinators from neonicotinoid insecticides.

In a third survey of neonics in “bee-friendly” plants sold by large retailers to gardeners in 14 U.S. cities — including Minneapolis — anti-pesticide advocates found a dramatic reduction this spring from levels detected previously.

Only 23 percent of the plants tested positive for neonics, compared to more than half the plants tested in 2013 and 2014. No plants purchased in Minneapolis contained the insecticides. Read Full Article »

New Certification Program for Growing Cannabis

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Cornucopia’s Take: With the rise in medical marijuana prescriptions, concerns arise about environmental practices and toxic chemicals used in growing the plants. MOFGA is now offering Clean Cannabis Certification to growers following organic guidelines.

MOFGA Announces Clean Cannabis Certification Program
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)
(This article is from their newsletter)

CertifiedCleanCannabisOne-year Trial to Determine Grower, Consumer Interest

August 24, 2016 – The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) today announced a trial program to certify that cannabis (marijuana) grown for medical purposes meets a verified production standard corresponding to the national organic standards now applied to food and other crops.

The trial program, to be known as MOFGA Certified Clean Cannabis (MC3), will verify that cannabis produced for medical purposes in Maine is grown, processed and handled within guidelines paralleling those of the National Organic Program (NOP) and the American Herbal Products Association. The USDA NOP standards currently do not allow for cannabis to be certified as organic. Read Full Article »

OCA Sues Handsome Brook Farm Over Pasture-Raised Claims

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Cornucopia’s Take: Cornucopia seeks to ensure the integrity of organic egg production.  Handsome Brooke’s rating on our egg scorecard, has been listed as “suspended” pending our own investigation that we have been conducting over the last few months.  For specifics on this investigation, please see the status of our investigation.

Egg Retailer Handsome Brook Farm Sued Over Accuracy of Pasture-Raised Labeling
Organic Consumers Association
Contact: Natalia Lima, (201) 679-7088; Katherine Paul, (207) 653-3090; Alexis Baden-Mayer, (202) 744-0853

Consumer and Animal Protection Advocates Allege Eggs Do Not Meet Consumer Expectations

handsome_brook_eggs_cartonWASHINGTON, D.C. – The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), and The Richman Law Group announced the filing of a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court against egg retailer Handsome Brook Farm, on behalf of OCA. The lawsuit alleges Handsome Brook Farm has been selling eggs labeled as “pasture raised” that fall far short of consumer expectations for this term—thus violating the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act. The misleading labels also undercut the market for truly pasture-raised eggs.

Handsome Brook Farm has claimed all its eggs come from family farms in its distribution network, but with the rapid growth of the privately owned company, the suit alleges the company has failed to maintain the standards reflected in its packaging and is sourcing eggs from supplier farms that provide limited indoor space or outdoor access for birds. The suit alleges Handsome Brook Farm has even bought eggs on the open market, without regard for whether they came from pasture-raised hens.  Read Full Article »

Rural Argentines Suspect Herbicides in Health Problems

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Cornucopia’s Take: As a world leader in GMO soy exports, Argentine farmers increased the amount of herbicide sprayed by 1,000% between 1994 and 2010. Unsurprisingly, people living in farmed areas have likewise seen a marked increase in respiratory issues, skin rashes, and cancer.

The villagers who fear herbicides
BBC News
by Grace Livingstone

Argentine Soy
Source: Mariano Mantel

Argentina is one of the world’s largest exporters of genetically-modified soya. It’s big business, but some local residents fear herbicides used by the industry could be making them sick.

Horacio Brignone lives in the village of María Juana in the Argentine flatlands, or pampas. From his window he can see fields of soya.

His 20-year old son has suffered from asthma since he was three years old, he says, but when he recently moved to a city the condition disappeared.

“He hasn’t had an attack for two years since he went to study in Córdoba,” says Horacio. “But when he came home for two months recently, he began to cough again.” Read Full Article »

Oats Creeping Into the Corn/Soy Rotation

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Cornucopia’s Take: Conventional agriculture appears to be taking a cue from organics. While they continue to use harmful chemicals on fields, conventional farmers are beginning to consider the value of crop rotation – a requirement in organic agriculture – for fixing nitrogen, preventing erosion, and reducing insect and weed risks.

Can oats improve bottom lines in the Corn Belt?
Harvest Public Media
by Amy Mayer

Source: Luke Blacks

On a hot, July day in Boone County, Iowa, farmer Brett Heineman shuttled a semi from one of his family’s fields to the local co-op. He and his uncle were harvesting the first crop of oats on this farm in decades.

Before corn and soybeans almost completely covered the landscape – today, they account for 95 percent of crop acres in Iowa – most Corn Belt farmers also grew oats or alfalfa. Now, the Heinemans are among the farmers taking a closer look at re-integrating the small grain into their operations.

Corn and soybean prices have fallen to frighteningly low levels in recent years and pressure has been mounting to curb the runoff of agricultural chemicals into streams and rivers. Oats, some Corn Belt farmers hope, might have a role to play on both the economic and environmental fronts. Read Full Article »