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.
July 18th, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: The sole purpose of food coloring is to improve the aesthetics of food. While American food companies ply our kids with petrochemicals and other toxins, they are selling cleaner versions of their products in Europe.
The best way to avoid harmful ingredients is to buy organic!
Food Doesn’t Have to Wear Makeup
Food coloring has no purpose and plenty of negatives. We only allow it still because the system is broken.
by Shilpa Ravella
In Britain, McDonald’s fries have four ingredients: potatoes, vegetable oil, dextrose, and salt. In the U.S., McDonald’s fries have a whopping 19 ingredients—including sodium acid pyrophosphate, which keeps the fries’ color from getting dull. This is strange since you’d think that all we really expect of French fries is for them to at least vaguely mimic the color of a potato. Then there’s McDonald’s strawberry sundae. In Britain’s version, all the color comes from real strawberries. In the U.S., we use Red No. 40. This plays out beyond the fast food chain: For example, Starburst fruit chews are colored with carotenes and chlorophylls across the Atlantic but with Red No. 40 and Yellow No. 6 in the U.S. Many major food companies in the U.S. use artificial food dyes in America—while selling naturally colored or dye-free versions in Europe. Read Full Article »
July 18th, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: As weed resistance increases, Monsanto and DuPont are pushing a mixture of glyphosate and dicamba for their next generation of GMO crops. The synergistic effects and toxicity of these herbicides together are largely unknown. This GMO roll-out comes amid consumer demands to know what is in their food.
Monsanto, DuPont sign supply agreement for dicamba herbicide
by Karl Plume
U.S. seed and agrochemicals companies Monsanto Co and DuPont said on Thursday they have signed a multi-year supply agreement for the weed killer dicamba in the United States and Canada.
Under the deal, whose terms were not disclosed, Monsanto will supply its farm seeds and chemicals rival with the herbicide, which will be sold as DuPont FeXapan herbicide plus VaporGrip Technology, the companies said.
The chemical is meant for use with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, a genetically modified variety designed to tolerate applications of dicamba and glyphosate herbicides. DuPont signed a licensing agreement in 2013 to incorporate Monsanto’s Xtend trait in its seeds.
Widespread planting of glyphosate-tolerant corn, soybeans and cotton in the United States has contributed to the rise of weeds resistant to the herbicide so farmers are seeking alternative varieties that can withstand other weed killers. Read Full Article »
July 15th, 2016
Reflections from the Country’s Best Local Farmers
[This article was previously published in the summer issue of The Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.]
by Linley Dixon, PhD
Farm and Food Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute
The Elders gathered for a second time this past January. They were joined by 13 “Youngers” to exchange ideas and information with the next generation of farmers and discuss the future of organic and sustainable farming.The “Agrarian Elders,” a group of legendary organic farmers, first formally met in January of 2014 at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA with the goal of sharing and preserving the wisdom from their combined 800 years of growing experience.
Many of us are seriously concerned about the future of agriculture. However, the Agrarian Elders have already provided us with a roadmap toward a locally based, truly sustainable food system. In defiance of the status quo, they have courageously modeled their lives around hard work, a sense of place, innovation, and forward-looking ideas. Read Full Article »
July 15th, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: In the wake of the recent GMO labeling compromise, the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) has withdrawn its membership from the Organic Trade Association (OTA). OTA members include many huge conventional companies with smaller organic portfolios who would not like to see GMO labeling applied to their conventional products. The OTA has represented this terrible bill as a good compromise with lawmakers. Their support was critical to gaining the backing of many Senators in Congress and pushing the bill over the top. It remains to be seen how many truly organic OTA members will withdraw in the aftermath of this lobbying coup.
Organic Farmer Group Dumps Organic Trade Association
OSGATA Cites Betrayal Over Monsanto-Backed GMO Labeling Bill
by OSGATA; Contact Lisa Stokke, Secretary, OSGATA Board of Directors
|Jim Gerritsen, OSGATA President
By a unanimous vote of its Board of Directors, the organic farmer-controlled Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) has withdrawn its membership from the Organic Trade Association (OTA). OSGATA’s decision was prompted by OTA’s duplicity towards organic farmers and consumers when a small number of OTA board members endorsed a dangerous Senate bill that would immediately preempt existing strong state GMO Labeling laws that are widely supported by the Organic community and ninety percent of consumers.
Biotech giant Monsanto is universally recognized within the Organic community as organic’s greatest threat. Recent revelations have made clear that the OTA has created numerous close partnerships with Monsanto including intensive lobbying efforts by the notorious biotech-linked lobbyist Podesta Group on behalf of the deal brokered by Senators Stabenow (D-MI) and Roberts (R-KS). Read Full Article »
July 14th, 2016
Despite an outpouring of letters, calls and protests, both the Senate and House have caved to Monsanto and biotech interests, passing legislation that will deny Americans the right to know what is in in their food products. This toothless compromise will preempt states’ rights to create their own genetically engineered food labeling laws and instead lead to a deeply flawed labeling system, riddled with loopholes, that will not require on package labeling.
- Please call the White House at 202-456-1111 and urge President Obama to veto this bill. You can email and tweet the President, too.
- Sign the “We the People” petition to President Obama urging him to veto the DARK Act now!
Thank you for taking action to protect American’s right to know about the ingredients in the food we eat! Read Full Article »