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.
August 22nd, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: Consumers can currently be certain that their food is non-GMO by buying organic. However, some language in the new GMO labeling bill could dilute the definition of “bioengineered” in organic regulations as well. Lawsuits are already pending. Stand by to help keep organics truly non-GMO.
Genetically modified food: New law a disaster
San Diego Union-Tribune
by David Schubert
[Early this month], President Obama signed the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law, a deceptive document that will put the U.S. population at risk for generations.
This bill creates a situation in which a shopper who wishes to know if a food contains genetically modified (GM) products will likely be required to use a smart phone, make a phone call, or employ a bar code decoder.
In addition, the bill forbids states from labeling foods, gives all of the power to the secretary of agriculture to regulate GM food labeling and even redefines the actual meaning of GM. Read Full Article »
August 18th, 2016
Don’t Let Giant Corporations and Factory Farms Corrupt Organics!
French dairy giant Groupe Danone (Dannon in the U.S.) has announced the proposed acquisition of WhiteWave Foods for approximately $10 billion. The deal would combine the Danone-owned and world’s largest organic yogurt brand Stonyfield with Wallaby, a rapidly growing yogurt label. The deal would also give Danone control over the Horizon organic brands, which is the nation’s largest brand of organic milk.
The U.S. government should protect market competition by enforcing laws, including the Sherman Act and Clayton Act, which decry anti-competitive practices including price fixing, monopolization, and controlling trusts. Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice are charged with reviewing acquisitions over a certain size for anti-competitive concerns.
All organic stakeholders should be concerned by the Danone-WhiteWave acquisition. The market for organic dairy already has less competition than other agricultural sectors and is more susceptible to monopolization and price fixing. Read Full Article »
August 16th, 2016
Scorecard Identifies the “Dirtiest” and Safest, Even Organic, Alternatives
The latest report by The Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry watchdog, uncovers serious problems in cosmetics industry regulations. Regulatory weaknesses and loopholes allow for the use of questionable, even harmful ingredients in personal care products, such as toothpastes, that could negatively impact the health of the users.
Behind the Dazzling Smile: Toxic Ingredients in Your Toothpaste, describes how the quality of “natural” toothpastes varies significantly between brands and how these personal oral care products commonly include nonessential ingredients that may be harmful.
“The cosmetics industry is no different, and may be worse, than leading food companies when it comes to gimmicky ingredients and misleading health claims,” asserts the report’s lead author Jerome Rigot, PhD, a policy analyst at The Cornucopia Institute. “However, we have created a useful web-based tool to help discriminating consumers see through marketing hype and make the best decision for their family when buying toothpaste.” Read Full Article »
August 15th, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: Knowledgeable organic industry observer looks at Cornucopia’s call for the blocking of the Danone-WhiteWave merger.
Organic Watchdog Group Aims to Disrupt Danone-WhiteWave Merger to Save Organic Dairy Farmers
by Jill Ettinger
In response to the recent announcement that Group Danone would purchase WhiteWave for more than $10 billion, organic industry watchdog group, The Cornucopia Institute, has filed complaints with the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission citing the merger as a threat to U.S. organic dairy producers. The group has also launched a consumer petition urging federal authorities to investigate the merger.
In 2004, Group Danone, the French dairy conglomerate, which owns numerous conventional dairy brands including Activia, Oikos, and Dannon, purchased Stonyfield Yogurt, the largest organic yogurt brand in the world. And the acquisition of WhiteWave would bring Horizon, the largest U.S. organic dairy brand, under Danone’s umbrella as well, in a move The Cornucopia Institute says “will have a chilling impact on both competition in the consumer marketplace and the wholesale market for organic milk.” Read Full Article »
August 12th, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: Grown without pesticides, organic and biodynamically grown grapes highlight the flavor of the earth they were grown in. The quality of the wine is comparable to more expensive conventional wines, even garnering higher ratings in blind taste tests from professionals.
Do eco-friendly wines taste better?
Provided by: University of California, Los Angeles
It’s time to toast environmentally friendly grapes. A new UCLA study shows that eco-certified wine tastes better—and making the choice even easier, earlier research shows it’s often cheaper, too.
Though consumers remain reluctant to spend more on wine from organic grapes, the new study from UCLA researchers shows that in blind taste-tests professional wine reviewers give eco-certified wines higher ratings than regular wines. Read Full Article »