The Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute, through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, provides needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media. We support economic justice for the family-scale farming community – partnered with consumers – backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.

DDT Quadruples Breast Cancer Risk, First-of-Its-Kind Study Shows

July 1st, 2015

Rodale News
by Leah Zerbe

Exposure to DDT in the womb significantly increases breast cancer risk years later, scientists say.

Source: Francis Storr

The U.S. government banned DDT more than 40 years ago, but this potent insecticide is still haunting us. Women exposed to higher levels of DDT while in their mother’s womb were nearly four times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer as women exposed to lower levels in the womb, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

This decades-long study looked at 20,000 woman and nearly 10,000 of their daughters and provides more strong evidence that coming in contact with hormone-disrupting chemicals like DDT during crucial stages of development could trigger disease decades later in life. “This 54-year study is the first to provide direct evidence that chemical exposures for pregnant women may have lifelong consequences for their daughters’ breast cancer risk,” says one of the study’s authors, Barbara A. Cohn, PhD, of the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, California. “Environmental chemicals have long been suspected causes of breast cancer, but until now, there have been few human studies to support this idea.” Read Full Article »

Down on the Farm with Tom Willey

July 1st, 2015

July 3, 2015 at 5 p.m.
KFCF, 88.1 FM: Listen live here

616px-Farmer_listening_to_crystal_radioWe must consider it a scientific fact that you are what you eat. The same molecules that make up the food we consume become those of our minds and bodies.

“Down on the Farm” is hosted by California Certified Organic Farmer Tom Willey, who harvests beets artichokes, tomatoes, turnips, peppers, among a diversity of biologically grown crops on a family-owned farm in Madera.

Tom’s focus is to help listeners be as informed as possible about the foods that grace their family’s tables. Each month’s program takes a deeper look into various aspects of progressive and environmentally conscious food production taking root on San Joaquin Valley farms.

Tune in to KFCF, 88.1FM from 5:00-6:00 p.m. every first Friday of the month, or listen to the show live online at that time. Read Full Article »

Nutrition Scientists on the Take From Big Food

July 1st, 2015

Eat Drink Politics
by Michele Simon

Nutrition Report_CoverNew Report from Eat Drink Politics asks: Has the American Society for Nutrition Lost All Credibility?

In my new report, I expose the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), the nation’s leading authority of nutrition scientists and researchers, for its cozy relationships with the likes of PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestle, McDonalds, Monsanto, Mars, and even the Sugar Association. Such conflicts of interest are similar to those exposed in my previous report about the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Powerful junk food companies purchase “sustaining partnerships” from the American Society for Nutrition, gaining access to the nation’s leading nutrition researchers at their annual meetings, and in their policy positions. ASN’s “Sustaining Member Roundtable Committee” includes PepsiCo’s Chief Scientific Officer and the Chief Science Officer at National Dairy Council.

Additional findings in the report include:

  • Of the 34 scientific sessions at ASN’s annual meeting, 6 were supported by PepsiCo
  • Other session sponsors included the Egg Nutrition Center, Kellogg, DuPont Nutrition and Health, Ajinomoto, and the National Dairy Council

Read Full Article »

The Canary in the Organic Coal Mine

June 30th, 2015

Organic Crops and Gardens Increasingly Contaminated by Persistent Herbicides

by Linley Dixon, PhD

This sunflower shows the leaf curl characteristic
of poisoning by aminopyralid herbicide. In this
case, the herbicide contamination came from
horse manure.

Photo by John Mason, www.geologywales.co.uk

Nothing is more infuriating than first-hand accounts of “Big Ag” putting sustainable organic farmers out of business. Herbicide carryover in compost embodies this travesty in the same vein as chemical drift, GMO contamination, and the monopolies created when seeds and genes are patented. [[1]]

Herbicide carryover (when persistent herbicides remain in compost, which then damages crops) may be initially hard to fathom, but occurrences are increasing due to the expanded use of certain persistent chemicals.

Here’s the calamity, for many family farmers, in a nutshell: broadleaf-specific herbicides sprayed on conventional pasture and hay fields pass unchanged through the digestive tract of farm animals, ultimately ending up in their manure, where the herbicides do not break down for many years, even when properly and thoroughly composted. [[2]] When contaminated compost finds its way into garden soil, crops will suffer. When that garden is your livelihood, it is tragic. Read Full Article »

Insecticides May Affect Cognitive Development in Children

June 30th, 2015

Nature World News
by Jenna Iacurci

Source: Jason Shultz

Insecticides may affect cognitive development in children, according to a new study.

Pyrethroid insecticides are one of the most commonly used pesticides, with benefits in a variety of sectors including residential pest control, public health and agricultural purposes. They can also be found in many domestic products such as lice shampoo and mosquito repellent.

With more toxic compounds such as organochorides, organophosphates, and carbamate having been banned due to health concerns, pyrethroids are now increasingly popular, and considered relatively safe for humans and mammals.v

Now, a study published in the journal Environment International provides new evidence of neurotoxicity in humans from pyrethroid insecticides. An increase in the urinary levels of two pyrethroid metabolites (3-PBA and cis-DBCA) in children is associated with a significant decrease in their cognitive performance, particularly in terms of verbal comprehension and working memory. Read Full Article »

The Cornucopia Institute
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Ph: 608-625-2000
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