Opinion/Editorial Archive

EPA Approves Enlist Duo®, Opens Gate to New Wave of GE Woes

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Beyond Pesticides

enlist logoDespite a massive outpouring of public opposition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced yesterday that it has registered Enlist Duo®, officially putting the rubber stamp of approval on the sale and use of a new wave of genetically-engineered (GE) 2,4-D tolerant crops.

Developed by Dow AgroSciences, Enlist Duo® is an herbicide that incorporates a mix of glyphosate and a new formulation of 2,4-D, intended for use on GE Enlist-Duo®-tolerant corn and soybean crops. While registration of the herbicide was anticipated by most of the public since the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s approval of the Enlist Duo®-tolerant crops in mid-September, the announcement still comes as a disappointing shock, demonstrating the failings of the U.S. pesticide and agricultural regulatory system to put people and the environment before economic incentives and industry bottom lines. Read Full Article »

Why I’m Voting Yes on 105 to Label GMO Foods

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Dining Out
by Bradford Heap | Chef and Owner, Colterra, Niwot, CO; and SALT, Boulder, CO

Source: Martin Cathrae

As a Coloradan, chef, and restaurateur committed to farm-to-table quality, integrity, taste, health, and the environment, I join organizations like the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Moms Across America, Conservation Colorado, and others in my support of GMO labeling, and encourage Coloradans to vote yes on Proposition 105 this November to require the mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods sold in Colorado.

As a father, I choose non-GMO foods for my kids when I can, but since an estimated 85-percent of grocery products sold in the U.S. contain genetically engineered ingredients without having to be labeled as such, it’s hard to make informed choices at the supermarket for my family. While pro-biotech interests claim that GMOs are safe, a growing body of scientific research suggests that there may indeed be enough risks to warrant the need for consumer transparency and justify the call for mandatory GMO labeling. Read Full Article »

No No Nano: Macro-Objections to Micro-Machinations of Industrial Processed Food

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

The Call of the Land
by Steven McFadden

“To be interested in food but not in food production is clearly absurd.” – Wendell Berry

Steven McFadden

Steadily, stealthily, corporations are driving the goodness of natural life itself from our food, and cleverly – though unwisely – infesting it with dim bits of microscopic material substance that are obscured from human awareness. I object. Wholeheartedly.

Just as synthetic chemicals, manufactured additives, irradiation, and then genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been corporately imposed upon processed food, now a micro-invasion of nanoparticles is gaining momentum. Patented lab-created nanoparticles are even penetrating the realm of organic food, as the USDA’s organic program chooses to do nothing.

The invisible, insidious micro-mechanistic food interventions being aggressively advanced by industry are now incarnate via nanotechnology. That’s the practice of manipulating materials on an atomic or molecular scale, and then incorporating the synthetic molecules into processed stuff, including our food. Read Full Article »

Beef Checkoff ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ Is Better Left Behind

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

NOTE: The organic farming community is facing a full-court-press by the powerful industry lobby group, the Organic Trade Association.  They want to pass a “checkoff” that will tax farmers to fund promotional and research work.  The history of these checkoffs leave farmers extremely skeptical, to say the least.  Cornucopia, and every organic farming group that has taken a position, has come out against the OTA proposal.  The following commentary represents the position of the National Farmers Union, an ally in our work (the author, the President of the Wisconsin Farmers Union, is a certified organic dairyman).

by Darin Von Ruden | Wisconsin Farmers Union President

Darin Von Ruden

After three years of trying to work with industry stakeholders to make needed changes to the Beef Checkoff program, the National Farmers Union withdrew from the Beef Checkoff Enhancement Working Group in early September.

The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) also withdrew from the working group, citing similar frustrations with a lack of progress since the group was formed in 2011.

NFU President Roger Johnson went so far as to call the working group a “bridge to nowhere” and a waste of time and resources. I have to agree.

The working group was designed to bring together vested parties from across the beef industry and to attempt to reach a consensus on substantial reforms that would make the checkoff a stronger, more effective tool for the beef industry.

The group also included the American Farm Bureau Federation, American National Cattlewomen, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Federation of State Beef Councils, Livestock Marketing Association, Meat Importers Council of America, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Livestock Producers Association and National Milk Producers Federation.

Sadly, it has become clear that in reality, there is no willingness from key players within the group to allow real reforms to take place. Read Full Article »

The Biggest Manure Spill in Door County History

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

When Something Fails, Try More of the Same!

by John Bobbe

My wife and I have lived on the Door Peninsula in the same neighborhood for 36 years. It is the thumb on Wisconsin that sticks out into Lake Michigan. Door County is billed as the “Cape Cod” of the Midwest with over 300 miles of shoreline along the Bay of Green Bay and Lake Michigan.  The county prides itself as a destination for millions of tourists.

On the morning of September 16th, the day started out as any other until about 10 a.m. I discovered that the 250+ cow dairy farm ¼ mile west of us had a manure system malfunction that resulted in 640,000 gallons of liquid manure spilled and flowing across fields into Sugar Creek.   Sugar Creek is an intermittent stream that flows for several hundred feet through our property.  This was one of the largest manure spills in Wisconsin history.  It was the second manure spill by a large farm within a week in the county.

ManureSpillSugarCreek JohnBobbe

Photo:  Manure spill, Brussels, WI 6 hours after it was discovered.    All running towards Sugar Creek.  Our residence is ¼ mile east of this site and the creek runs through our property.  Courtesy:  John Bobbe Read Full Article »