Opinion/Editorial Archive

Merchants of Doubt Exposes the Bull

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

No-Bull Food News
by Mike Callicrate

Source: LandLearn NSW

Not believing doesn’t make it untrue

In last week’s Atlantic article, Farmland Without Farmers, Wendell Berry describes how industrial agriculture has replaced men with machines, depriving the American landscape of its stewards and the culture they built. He discusses the value of living in a place for a long time and observing, in that place, what’s missing.

Over the last 35 years, as Wendell Berry describes, corporations have assumed near total control of agriculture while family farmers have lost their markets, their land, and their livelihoods. When family farmers are replaced with industrial corporate farms, animals, people, communities, and the environment all suffer. Why would any society allow the demise of their farmers and ranchers? They wouldn’t if they knew it was happening. In fact, any good citizen would raise hell at the thought of losing their food supply. So why aren’t more people speaking out about the concentration and consolidation of our agricultural and food system? Read Full Article »

When Enough Is Enough and We Stand for Our Rights

Friday, March 27th, 2015

A voice from Benton County, OR

by Harry MacCormack

Harry MacCormack

There is a disturbance on the Land, in our intestinal tracts, and in our cells and genes. It is not a new terror. It has been deteriorating life quality for over four generations. Wreaking havoc daily at subtle, mostly unseen levels, the devastation is more and more widespread. Putting a face to this overpowering activity leads to illusive, mostly hidden figures who only surface as giant international corporate names with which we’ve all become familiar.

In the 1950’s its slogan became “Better Living through Chemistry.” In the 1980’s it began a campaign to “Feed The World Through Genetic Engineering.” We as modern humans accepted what passed for science supporting this campaign, even though technologies based on that science were able to legitimatize the patenting of life processes, the turning into private-corporate property of our inherited Genetic Commons. Read Full Article »

Former NOSB Chair: Approval Process for Synthetic/Non-Organic Materials… Turned on Its Head

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

[NOTE:  Barry Flamm is the Secretary of Cornucopia’s Board of Directors.]

Certified Organics: 2015
by Barry Flamm

Barry Flamm

Members of MOA care deeply about organics. For many it is your life: manifesting a deep conviction that organics is the future for agriculture if a healthy, sustainable world is to be achieved.

An important step in advancing U.S. organic production was the 1990 passage of the Organic Food Production Act (OFPA), which brought integrity and order to organic food production and marketing. This Act and the implementing regulations were driven by the organic community’s desire to insure the integrity of organics, which is reflected by the seal of approval, and to assure a continuing role of the organic community in maintaining the high standards for organics. Read Full Article »

National Organic Program Addresses New Hydroponic/Aquaponic Task Force

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

This email notice from the National Organic Program is a bit of damage control (it is unknown whether their email could supersede the legal notice published in the Federal Register). The Federal Register notice suggested that the only Task Force nominees that would qualify for this new panel are those with hands-on industry experience. That would’ve stacked this advisory panel, assumedly, with 100% supporters for growing “organically” without soil.

The NOSB formally recommended that hydroponic
systems, such as the lettuce farm above, be
prohibited from organic certification.
(Source: DollarPhotoClub)

Why is this panel even necessary? Congress set up an expert, multi-stakeholder citizens advisory panel called the “National Organic Standards Board” to address questions regarding implementation of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (the enabling legislation that gave the authority to the USDA to regulate organics).

The NOSB carefully deliberated on the issue of hydroponics and aquaponics, held formal public hearings and comment periods with extensive stakeholder involvement. And when the dust settled decided that, like Europe and many other countries, that growing in water and a mix of nutrients did not equate to certified organic production.

So why is this panel necessary? Because the USDA, once again, is not respecting the authority of the NOSB, the will of Congress, and the input of the organic community in the decision-making process. They didn’t like the answer the NOSB came up with. Read Full Article »

Organic Farmers Neither Want Nor Need an Organic Checkoff

Monday, March 16th, 2015

[Jim Goodman is an organic dairy farmer from Wonewoc, WI. ]

National Family Farm Coalition
by Jim Goodman

Source: Capricorn78

The “organic industry” represented by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) wants to make some money, supposedly for promoting organic food in the marketplace and for more research related to organic farming. So the go to place is the paycheck of organic farmers.

Promoting organic food is good, so is more funding for organic research, which has always been the ugly stepchild of conventional agricultural research. However a national checkoff on organic producers to raise money for these efforts is not the solution.

Since a checkoff would be operated through the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, (AMS) any comparison and claims that organic food is superior to conventional food would not be allowed— that is a fact. Read Full Article »