Opinion/Editorial Archive

Biotechnology Proponent’s Recipe to Defend GMOs Produces a Stew Blending Orwellian Rhetoric with Sheer Demagoguery

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

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

Mark Kastel

A commentary in the December 29 edition of the Wall Street Journal, by Julie Kelly, a prolific defender of the biotechnology industry and a self-identified suburban mom, cooking instructor, and accidental activist, claimed that in 2015 genetically engineered food made great progress despite “fear mongering” from the “culinary elite.”

Since the vast majority of U.S. citizens support informational labeling on food regarding its GMO (genetically modified organism) status, that’s a pretty sizable percentage of the population to refer to as the “elite.” Nonetheless, Kelly’s winning examples actually make a pretty compelling case for why consumers are uneasy with the technology and want the ability to choose: Read Full Article »

Are You Eating Frankenfish?

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

The New York Times
by Tom Colicchio

Source: Danielle Helm

This month, Congress may decide whether consumers are smart enough to be trusted with their own food choices. Some lawmakers are trying to insert language into must-pass spending legislation that would block states from giving consumers the right to know whether their food contains genetically modified ingredients.

They must be stopped.

Nine out of 10 Americans want G.M.O. disclosure on food packages, according to a 2013 New York Times poll, just like consumers in 64 other nations. But powerful members of the agriculture and appropriations committees, along with their allies in agribusiness corporations like Monsanto, want to keep consumers in the dark. That’s why opponents of this effort have called it the DARK Act — or the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act. Read Full Article »

A Secret Weapon to Fight Climate Change: Dirt

Monday, December 14th, 2015

The Washington Post
by Debbie Barker and Michael Pollan

Cover crops in small grain stubble
Source: NRCS, South Dakota

Debbie Barker is the international programs director at the Center for Food Safety. Michael Pollan is the John S. and James L. Knight professor of journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.

When Will Allen is asked to name the most beautiful part of his Vermont farm, he doesn’t talk about the verdant, rolling hills or easy access to the Connecticut River. Though the space is a picturesque postcard of the agrarian idyll, Allen points down, to the dirt. “This precious resource not only grows food,” he says, “but is one of the best methods we have for sequestering carbon.”

We think of climate change as a consequence of burning fossil fuels. But a third of the carbon in the atmosphere today used to be in the soil, and modern farming is largely to blame. Read Full Article »

Tell Consumers What They Are Eating

Friday, December 4th, 2015

The New York Times
by the Editorial Board

Source: Prachatai

In approving genetically engineered salmon as safe to eat and safe for the environment, the Food and Drug Administration rejected petitions from environmental and food safety groups asking that companies selling this salmon be required to label it as genetically engineered. Congress should overturn that decision. Consumers deserve to know what they are eating.

The salmon, made by AquaBounty Technologies of Maynard, Mass., has genes inserted that allow it to grow to market size twice as fast as wild salmon. The F.D.A.’s approval permits the engineered salmon to be raised only in land-based hatchery tanks in two facilities — one in Canada, where genes are injected into the eggs of Atlantic salmon, and a facility in Panama, where the fish are grown to market size. Each site has physical barriers to prevent the escape of eggs and fish. Read Full Article »

Owner of Vermont Organic Dairy Farm and Harvard Biology Graduate Educates the NOSB on the Meaning of “Organic”

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Greg Jackmauh holds a Harvard degree in biology and owns a Vermont organic dairy farm. He’s a longtime member of The Cornucopia Institute.

Greg Jackmauh

My name is Gregory Jackmauh. I am a resident of Barnet, Vermont and live on an Organic pasture-based, intensive rotational grazing dairy farm that has been certified since 2003.

I graduated from Harvard College with an Honors degree in Biology and am a member of The Cornucopia Institute.

My premise is simple: The word “Organic” has a meaning that has existed long before the USDA began to consider the term.

In my 1924 edition of Webster’s New International Dictionary it says “organic” means “acting as an instrument of nature” and “forming a complex, self-determined, unity”. To me and to many others here today and watching from a distance this definition is quite easily understood. “ORGANIC” means a naturally occurring relationship between land, plant, micro-organism, and animal that is harmoniously in balance and self-sustaining.

Modern agricultural processes have gotten away from following an “organic” model throughout the decades and centuries, and there are those of us who passionately feel that returning to an “organic” approach to agriculture is a critical step to stabilizing our environment and our planet. Read Full Article »