Media/News Archive

Strolling of the Heifers 2014 Locavore Index Highlights Benefits of Food from Local Farms

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Strolling of the Heifers
by Martin Langeveld

Which states are most committed to locally-sourced food? According to the 2015 Locavore Index, the top four locavore states (in order) are Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and Oregon.

These four states also topped the 2014 Index, which is compiled annually by Strolling of the Heifers, a Vermont-based local food advocacy group.


“The purpose of the Index is to stimulate efforts across the country to use more local food in homes, restaurants, schools and institutions,”said Orly Munzing, founder and executive director of Strolling of the Heifers. Read Full Article »

Advocacy Group Demands Monsanto Retract Ridiculous Comments on WHO Glyphosate Report

Monday, April 13th, 2015

by Environmental Working Group

Hugh Grant,
Chairman & CEO, Monsanto
Source: Janine Moraes,
Wikimedia Commons

In response to the World Health Organization’s decision to classify the weed-killer glyphosate as a “probably carcinogenic to humans,” Monsanto’s top executive pulled out the rhetorical machine guns, launching an all-out attack against the prestigious international health agency and its scientists.

“It’s unfortunate that junk science and this kind of mischief can create so much confusion for consumers,” said Hugh Grant, Monsanto’s chairman and CEO, during a call with investors.

Grant was referring to the unanimous conclusion reached by 17 of the world’s leading cancer experts who reviewed hundreds of government and independent studies of the potential health risks from exposure to glyphosate—the main ingredient in Monsanto’s top-selling herbicide, marketed as RoundUp.

Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council and herself a nationally-recognized expert on pesticides and human health, described in great detail the process the scientists went through in deciding to elevate the cancer assessment of the crop chemical to “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

“Mr. Grant and Monsanto should immediately retract these ridiculous comments and instead turn their attention to the potential risks their product poses to customers, farm workers and the millions of others who are exposed to glyphosate,” said Ken Cook, president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group. Read Full Article »

For First Time, USDA Warns NOSB Nominees’ Records May Be Released Under FOIA USDA Says ‘Personally Identifiable Info’ Would Be Redacted

Friday, April 10th, 2015

NOTE: The USDA announced, yesterday, the opening of the nomination process for candidates to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).  The Cornucopia Institute will once again write USDA Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack formally asking him to make all nominations available to the public.  There is no reason that it should take a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for organic stakeholders to understand who is applying to represent their interests.

I500px-USDA_organic_seal_svg - wikicommonsn the past, during the Bush and Obama administrations, a number of corporate agribusiness executives have been appointed to slots on the NOSB that are reserved by Congress for individuals who “own or operate” certified organic farms.  We are sure many stakeholders would like to help Secretary Vilsack select the best and brightest in the organic community and prevent him from making the same mistakes (currently, one “farmer” seat filled by Mr. Vilsack is held by an employee of Driscoll’s, the giant berry producer in California, and one is held by an employee of Vital Farms, an egg producer — both of these businesses do not actually operate farms but rather purchase commodities from independent farmers under contract).

Mark Kastel
Senior Farm Policy Analyst
The Cornucopia Institute

by Sustainable Food News (published here with permission)

Sustainable Food NewsFor the first time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has notified potential nominees to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that their application documents may be released if requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Read Full Article »

The Breakthrough in Wyoming

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
by Pete Kennedy, Esq.

Source: Wyoming Food Freedom Facebook Page

The Wyoming Food Freedom Act (WFFA), which became law on March 3, has set the bar high for efforts at similar legislation elsewhere in the United States of America. Under the WFFA, the production and sale within Wyoming of any food except meat products by a producer direct to the “informed end consumer” is not subject to licensing or inspection. Poultry falls under the WFFA and is not included in the definition of meat products.

The only requirement of the WFFA is “the producer shall inform the end consumer that any food product or food sold at a farmers market or through ranch, farm or home based sales pursuant to this section is not certified, labeled, licensed, packaged, regulated or inspected.”

As of now, restrictions in the Federal Meat Inspection Act are the reason the WFFA does not include the sale of meat products but the Act’s sponsor, Representative Tyler Lindholm, indicated in an interview with Baylen Linnekin that there will be legislation in the future enabling farmers and ranchers to “sell beef and pork directly to consumers also.” Read Full Article »

Pesticide Residue on Food Could Affect Sperm Quality, Says Harvard Study

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

The Guardian
Haroon Siddique

Source: Walter Baxter via Wikimedia Commons

Analysis of semen from men at fertility clinic matched with questionnaire on consumption of fruit and vegetables

Eating fruit and vegetables containing pesticide residues could adversely affect men’s fertility, leading to fewer and poorer quality sperm, a study suggests.

Research by Harvard University found that men who ate the greatest amount of fruit and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residue had a 49% lower sperm count and a 32% fewer normally formed sperm than those who consumed the least.

The authors of the study, published online in Human Reproduction on Tuesday, said more research was needed and that their findings should not encourage men to reduce their consumption of fruit and vegetables. Read Full Article »