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.

Jim Gerritsen on Organic Integrity

May 20th, 2016

by Beyond Pesticides

Maine organic potato farmer and Cornucopia advisor Jim Gerritsen speaks to the issue of organic integrity. His remarks were given at the Beyond Pesticides annual conference in April. Read Full Article »

Under the Influence: The National Research Council and GMOs

May 20th, 2016

Food & Water Watch

The National Research Council’s ties to the biotech industry and other corporations create conflicts of interest and raise questions about the independence of their work.
Download the issue brief here.

Source: Flickr, vaxzine

The National Research Council (NRC) — the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences — enjoys a reputation as one of the elite scientific bodies in the United States, an independent institution that Congress calls on for impartial scientific advice about topics like genetically engineered crops (commonly called GMOs). However, the NRC’s far-reaching ties to biotechnology companies and other agricultural corporations have created conflicts of interest at every level of the organization, which greatly diminish the independence and integrity of the NRC’s scientific work. Read Full Article »

Egg Comes First in Fight Over What It Means to Be Organic

May 19th, 2016

by Deena Shanker

An aerial photo from August 2014 shows
six hen houses, several with two floors,
and a seventh under construction at the
Green Meadow site in Saranac

Big Agriculture may see a broader threat in new government regulations. Congress comes to the rescue.

A decade-plus effort by organic farmers, animal welfare advocates, and consumer groups to guarantee humane treatment of farm animals in the burgeoning organic food industry could be derailed this week by a one-page rider slipped into a congressional appropriations bill.

The law would eliminate all funding for a stricter new regulation proposed by the Obama administration intended to guarantee that the organic-in-every-respect egg is, in fact, as advertised.

Even though it still makes up just a tiny fraction of the overall egg market, the growth in organic egg sales has been nothing short of explosive. From 2014 to 2015, when total egg sales in the U.S. were down 1.1 percent, organic egg sales increased an astonishing 119.8 percent, according to data from Euromonitor, proving that consumers will indeed pay a premium for what they think is a better product. Read Full Article »

Potentially Hazardous Nanoparticles Found in Powdered Baby Formula

May 19th, 2016

Friends of the Earth

Select Gerber (NESN VX), Enfamil (MJN), Similac (ABT), and Well Beginnings (WBA) products tested

Source: Alper Tecer

OAKLAND, CALIF. — Nanoparticles linked to potential health hazards were found in popular powdered baby formula products, according to a first-of-its-kind report released today. Scientists found unlabeled and under regulated nanotechnologies in six out of six formulas tested, including Gerber, Enfamil, Similac and Well Beginnings products currently on store shelves.

Friends of the Earth’s report, “Nanoparticles in Baby Formula: Tiny new ingredients are a big concern,” details new findings from independent lab research and compiles data from health impact studies on nanoparticles. Nano-sized structures and particles of potential concern were found in all six of the baby formulas tested, including: nano-hydroxyapatite (nano HA) in needle-like and non needle-like form, nano titanium dioxide (TiO2), and nano silicon dioxide (SiO2) (the nano TiO2 and SiO2 results demonstrated possible presence).

“This technology is moving from the lab to the marketplace without sufficient regulation, safety assessment and labeling,” said lead report author, Ian Illuminato, health and environment campaigner with Friends of the Earth. Read Full Article »

Misgivings About How a Weed Killer Affects the Soil

May 18th, 2016

The New York Times
by Stephanie Strom

Source: canvas blank

ALTON, Iowa — The puny, yellow corn stalks stand like weary sentries on one boundary of Dennis Von Arb’s field here.

On a windy day this spring, his neighbor sprayed glyphosate on his fields, and some of the herbicide blew onto Mr. Von Arb’s conventionally grown corn, killing the first few rows.

He’s more concerned, though, about the soil. During heavy rains in the summer, the runoff from his neighbor’s farm soaked his fields with glyphosate-laden water.

“Anything you put on the land affects the chemistry and biology of the land, and that’s a powerful pesticide,” Mr. Von Arb said.

But 20 miles down the road, Brad Vermeer brushes aside such concerns.

He grows “traited,” or biotech, corn and soy on some 1,500 acres and estimates that his yield would fall by 20 percent if he switched to conventional crops and stopped using glyphosate, known by brand names like Roundup and Buccaneer.

In short, it is just too profitable to give up. Read Full Article »

The Cornucopia Institute
P.O. Box 126 Cornucopia, Wisconsin 54827
Ph: 608-625-2000