Opinion/Editorial Archive

Is the Organic Label Worth Saving?

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

by Mark Kastel

Big Food/USDA Collusion Undermines the Seal, but the Fight Continues

Cornucopia board president Helen
Kees and her family operate
Wheatfield Hill Organics, a fifth-
generation, diversified farm in
west-central Wisconsin. She was
one of the state’s first certified
organic beef producers.

We are getting more correspondence from our farmer-members, and consumers, asking whether it’s time to give up the fight to save the integrity of the organic label from corporate plunderers and their all-too-accommodating federal regulators. Many suggest that it’s time to create an alternative label and/or an alternative certification system.

My standard reply to this suggestion is: “Too many good people have worked too hard, for too many years, to grow organics into a marketplace force with real economic value (now $40 billion/year) to hand over the label to a pack of corporadoes out to make a quick buck.”

Although many people around the country have access to local food that is produced under organic management, most citizens still need a reliable retail alternative to the dominant, toxic agricultural paradigm  that is conventional food.

We thought that the USDA organic seal would equate to a Cliff Notes version of ethical food research. Sadly, it’s just not good enough anymore. The USDA has sat back and greased the skids for corporate agribusiness to redefine what organic farming means.

That’s why Cornucopia has created several in-depth reports and associated scorecards rating the ethical approach brands take to creating organic dairy products, eggs, soy foods, breakfast cereal, yogurt, and more. Read Full Article »

The Future of GMOs, Meat Safety and Organics Under the Influence of the Same Corrupt, Corporate-Lapdog: the USDA

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

by Jérôme Rigot, PhD

VilsackChickenCan we be sure that the “organic” in the USDA Certified Organic seal retains its meaning and remains true to its mandate of assuring consumers that food under this label is truly healthy and grown or raised with minimal impact to the environment and respects the health and well-being of the workers and animals involved?

There are growing concerns that the organic label may be losing its meaning.

Indeed, the Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, recently downgraded their rating of the USDA’s organic seal and label.  Dr. Urvashi Rangan, the director of the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Center for Consumer Reports, told the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) late last year, “Organic is slipping. And as a result, we have downgraded its rating from highly meaningful to meaningful.” Dr. Rangan explained that the role of Consumer Reports “is to help educate people about what organic means as well as what it doesn’t mean.”

What is fueling such concerns? Read Full Article »

Busting (Organic) Corporate Propaganda

Friday, September 11th, 2015

CI_BustingOrganicCorpPropaganda_1aThe Organic Trade Association (OTA), the industry’s lobby group, has launched a campaign they call “Organic Myth-Busting Month.” The majority of what they are communicating seems pretty accurate in portraying the advantages of choosing an organic diet.

However, two of their social media subjects are a direct damage control effort to counter the work of The Cornucopia Institute and other organic industry observers. Read Full Article »

GMOs and the Puppetmasters of Academia – What The New York Times Left Out

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

NOTE: The article below is in response to this New York Times article.

The Ecologist
by Dr. Jonathan Latham

This one goes all the way to the top:
Prof. Nina Fedoroff of Penn State, President
the American Association for the Advancement of
Science, shown with President G W Bush.
Source: Penn State

The NYT’s expose of Kevin Folta’s PR role as a pro-GMO shill in the employ of Monsanto barely scratched the surface of a huge web of corporate money, influence and intrigue that permeates the US’s premier universities and scientific institutions, writes Jonathan Latham – from Harvard and Cornell to the AAAS. Why the reticence to name all the names?

“Reading the emails make(s) me want to throw up” tweeted the Food Babe after reading a lengthy series of them posted online by the NY Times on 5th September.

The emails in question result from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and are posted in the side bars of a front-page article by Timesreporter Eric Lipton (‘Food Industry Enlisted Academics in GMO Lobbying War, Emails Show‘). See also this account on The Ecologist. Read Full Article »

Why Are Climate Groups Only Focused on 50% of the Solution?

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

by John Roulac

NutivaJohnMonExxonQuote_2To the leadership at Greenpeace, Sierra Club, 350.org, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council and all other climate groups:

Your organizations have worked very hard, collectively, to reduce world reliance on carbon-centric oil, gas and coal. Thanks to your work to reduce pollution, we certainly have a healthier planet. High praise is in order for the success of your valiant efforts in the face of corrupt vested interests.

Yet I, along with many others, must still ask: Will your plan win the race against time to avert climate chaos? Anyone paying close attention can see that, even if the world doubles the rate at which it’s adopting wind, solar, bike lanes, electric cars and conservation, the excess carbon in our atmosphere and seas will still lead to intense climate chaos. Read Full Article »