Media/News Archive

Recalls of Organic Food on the Rise, Report Says

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Letter to the editor submitted by Cornucopia’s Mark Kastel to the New York Times in response to the article below:


To the editor,

Stephanie Strom’s Aug. 14 article, Recalls of Organic Food on the Rise, Report Says, is disturbing. Regardless of the rate, food recalls due to pathogenic contamination are too high in both organic and conventional food.

The increase in problems relating to organics should not be surprising. Corporate agribusiness has been poisoning our citizenry, and the FDA and USDA have been ineffective at controlling their recklessness. And Big Food now controls much of organics.

Industrial-scale (“factory”) livestock production produces sick animals that are maintained in abhorrent conditions. Organics was supposed to be the alternative, but we have seen an exponential rise in “organic” milk, meat, and eggs from the livestock factories, and a similar increase in imports of “organic” commodities from countries with endemic levels of commercial fraud and food contamination (China, India, former Soviet bloc states).

Consumers can protect their family by choosing authentic food from local certified organic farms and the companies that truly subscribe to the values that founded the industry. Brand scorecards are available at:

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

The New York Times
by Stephanie Strom

New data collected by Stericycle, a company that handles recalls for businesses, shows a sharp jump in the number of recalls of organic food products. Read Full Article »

Critics Question Monsanto’s Plan To Buy Syngenta

Monday, August 31st, 2015

by Luke Runyon

Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Rob Fraley
Source: USDA

Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of seeds, is trying to swallow up a competitor in pesticide production. The move could lead to fewer choices for farmers and further consolidate the industry.

Listen to the story here.


STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: We are also tracking news of a change in agriculture. Monsanto is the world’s largest producer of seeds, and it plans to get bigger buying a major pesticide producer. Luke Runyon, of KUNC, explains why many farmers worry about that. Read Full Article »

IAFP 2015: Interview with Mitchell Weinberg, CEO of Food Fraud Firm INSCATECH

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Food Safety News
by James Andrews

Food Safety News recently sat down with Mitchell Weinberg at IAFP 2015 in Portland, OR, to discuss the extent of global food fraud and how we can combat it. Weinberg is the founder, president and CEO of INSCATECH, a food fraud investigation firm.

Watch the video interview here or find highlights below:

Read Full Article »

Italy’s Ban on Neonicotinoids Effective, U of G Conference Told

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Guelph Mercury
by Joanne Shuttleworth

Source: USDA

GUELPH — When people think of bees, they think of honey and of how bees sting.
But bees and other pollinators are critical to agriculture and as such they contribute to the economy. With their numbers in alarming decline, scientists around the world are working on the problem.

Four of them were at the University of Guelph Wednesday evening for a panel discussion on the research they are doing and the implications for beekeepers and farmers. And the common result of their separate research is that the practice of treating seeds with neonicotinoids to make them pest-resistant is killing the bee population. Read Full Article »

The Next Great GMO Debate

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Technology Review
by Antonio Regalado

monsantoDeep inside its labs, Monsanto is learning how to modify crops by spraying them with RNA rather than tinkering with their genes.

The Colorado potato beetle is a voracious eater. The insect can chew through 10 square centimeters of leaf a day, and left unchecked it will strip a plant bare. But the beetles I was looking at were doomed. The plant they were feeding on—bright green and carefully netted in Monsanto’s labs outside St. Louis—had been doused with a spray of RNA.

The experiment took advantage of a mechanism called RNA interference. It’s a way to temporarily turn off the activity of any gene. In this case, the gene being shut down was one vital to the insect’s survival. “I am pretty sure 99 percent of them will be dead soon,” said Jodi Beattie, a Monsanto scientist who showed me her experiment. Read Full Article »