Reports Archive

New Report Criticizes Yogurt Industry

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Major Brands Accused of Turning Health Food into Junk Food

yogurt-report-cover final with borderA new report, Culture Wars: How the Food Giants Turned Yogurt, a Health Food, into Junk Food,issued by The Cornucopia Institute, accuses Dannon, Yoplait, Chobani and other major marketers of misleading parents, who are looking for healthier foods for their families, into purchasing yogurts loaded with sugar and containing a myriad of questionably safe artificial sweeteners, colors and emulsifiers.

The group alleges that agribusiness, in their marketing approach, has capitalized on yogurt’s historic, well-deserved healthful reputation while simultaneously adulterating the product, sometimes illegally, to gain competitive advantage and popular appeal.

In addition to The Cornucopia Institute’s comprehensive report on the yogurt industry, they also released a related buyer’s guide rating 114 brands and separating the truly healthy options from those that would be found on any dietitian’s shortlist of foods to avoid.

“What is most egregious about our findings,” said Mark A. Kastel, Codirector of The Cornucopia Institute, “is the marketing employed by many of the largest agribusinesses selling junk food masquerading as health food, mostly aimed at moms, who are hoping to provide their children an alternative, a more nutritious snack. In some cases, they might as well be serving their children soda pop or a candy bar with a glass of milk on the side.”

Cornucopia, a Wisconsin-based food and farm policy research group, found that the flavored varieties (strawberry, for example) of certain brands contain no actual fruit, and include total sugars that rival those in candy bars.

Alternatively, rather than with sugar, some yogurt is sweetened artificially with such substances as aspartame (also marketed as NutraSweet®).

According to Dr. Qing Yang, a professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale University, “A rise in the percent of the population who are obese coincides with the increase in the widespread use of non-caloric artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose.” The use of aspartame is controversial and has been linked to brain tumors and neurological diseases in laboratory animals. Read Full Article »

Replacing Mother: Infant Formula Report

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
Replacing Mother: Infant Formula Report

Replacing Mother: Imitating Human Breast Milk in the Laboratory, details research questioning the alleged benefits of adding “novel” omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, produced in laboratories and extracted from algae and fungus, into infant formulas. The report presents disturbing research indicating that the new additives placed in infant formula are seriously endangering the health of some formula-fed newborns and toddlers. Aggressive marketing campaigns by some infant formula manufacturers appear to have encouraged new mothers to give up nursing and switch to use of the questionable infant formula products.

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FDA Puts Industry Profit Over Public Health – Defends Safety of Controversial Food Additive

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

The Cornucopia Institute Releases Report
Formally Requests Removal of Carrageenan from List of Allowed Additives

Cornucopia, WIThe Cornucopia Institute formally requested that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) remove the common additive carrageenan from the US food supply.

Last year the FDA rejected a 2008 citizen petition, which presented scientific studies linking carrageenan to gastrointestinal inflammation and disease, including cancer.  The petition was filed by Dr. Joanne Tobacman, a physician-researcher at the University of Illinois – Chicago College of Medicine, who has been studying food-grade carrageenan for more than a decade.

“The FDA’s justification for denial was based on a sloppy and incomplete evaluation of available published research, and it was riddled with overt bias which appears to protect an industry’s profits at the expense of public health,” says Charlotte Vallaeys, Director of Farm and Food Policy at Cornucopia, a Wisconsin-based non-profit food policy research group.  “We have asked them to reevaluate.”

intestinal distressCarrageenan is a highly processed additive extracted from red seaweed.  The controversial material contributes no nutritional value or flavor, but is added to affect the texture of a wide range of foods and beverages.

Scientists have raised concern about its safety for decades, based on research linking food-grade carrageenan in the diet of laboratory animals to gastrointestinal disease, including colon tumors. Read Full Article »

Avoiding Controversial Laboratory-Produced Nutritional Oils in Your Family’s Food (Martek Biosciences DHA)

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Why This Guide?

Organics is at a crossroads. The founding principles of organics are increasingly under attack by powerful agribusiness corporations that want a slice of the organic profit pie.

Consumers who expect organic foods to be free from controversial non-organic ingredients can no longer trust the organic seal alone as an assurance that unnecessary synthetic and non-organic ingredients are kept out. Organic decision-makers have been bombarded with corporate lobbying power, and in many cases, failed to stand strong with organic farmers and organic consumers.

In the fall of 2011, when asked to vote to approve Martek Biosciences’ DHA and ARA oil, derived from genetically mutated fermented algae and soil fungus, the members of the National Organic Standards Board ignored the simple fact that non-organic ingredients should be allowed in organic foods only if they are essential – as in the case of baking powder to make organic cookies, or yeast to bake organic bread. Instead, the majority of NOSB members sided with corporate interests.

The Cornucopia Institute developed this guide to educate consumers about Martek’s DHA algal oil and ARA fungal oil. The guide will assist consumers in making informed decisions to buy certified organic foods without these novel, manufactured oils.

What are Martek’s DHA and ARA oils?
If it’s not organic, how come it’s in organic foods?

Consumers should use the online guide to direct their purchasing decisions, and avoid products with these questionable additives:

View DHA Guide

Natural vs. Organic Cereal

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
Cornucopia Cereal Crimes Report Cover

Federal law requires that organic food products be produced promoting ecological sustainability, without the toxic inputs and genetically engineered ingredients common in the conventional food system. Increasingly, organic products are forced to compete with products that claim to be “natural.”

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