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.

Are Your Children Roundup-Ready?

October 1st, 2015

Use of the Herbicide Glyphosate Has Skyrocketed Since the 1990s

Nearly 90% of U.S. corn is treated with glyphosate.
The typical American child’s diet includes dozens
of corn-based processed foods.
Image source:

For thousands of years, children ate the same food their parents ate when they were children. In the United States today, this is no longer the case. Most dramatically, the proliferation of the use of the herbicide glyphosate, made possible by genetically engineered (GE) foods, is subjecting our children to a large-scale science experiment.

Children born today are repeatedly exposed to genetically engineered (GE) foods. GE crops include soybeans, corn, canola, alfalfa, and cotton, with wheat under development. GE ingredients find their way into many processed foods — unless they are certified organic. Beverages, candy, baked beans, and many other products are sweetened with corn syrup or sugar from GE sugar beets. Salad dressings, crackers, and chips are made with canola oil, corn oil, or soybean oil, and unless certified organic, all are likely GE. Read Full Article »

Dirty Money, Dirty Science

October 1st, 2015

by Doug Gurian-Sherman

Source: Capt. Spaulding

The biotech industry’s web of attempts to buy credibility, by laundering its messages through supposedly independent academic scientists, is unraveling and beginning to reveal the influence of huge amount of industry money on the independence of academic agricultural science. Some of this process was revealed recently in The New York Times. Many of these efforts to influence policy or public opinion start with industry staff emails, including suggested topics, points, and themes, which are then laundered through the credibility of academic scientists. It is a matter of academic scientists promoting positions and arguments of the industry, not merely a sharing of positions that each party already held and were acting on.

The emails from several academic scientists linked in the NYT article show numerous instances of industry personnel, such as Eric Sachs of Monsanto, in ongoing dialogue with academic scientists, including strategizing about how to influence policy and how academic scientists can carry out industry desires. Read Full Article »

Lithuania Bans GM Crops as Biotech Industry Loses More Ground

September 30th, 2015

Sustainable Pulse

Source: Artiom P

Lithuanian Agriculture Minister, Virginija Baltraitienė, announced last week that the Baltic country has demanded an EU opt-out regarding the growing of genetically modified (GM) crops.

Baltraitienė stated; “So far we are not ready. We have to choose whether to promote organic production, or allow GMOs. Our strategy is to increase the number of clean, high-quality products.”

Commercial GM crop cultivation has never been allowed in Lithuania, and the majority of previous Biotech company requests for trials for GM maize, GM oilseed rape and GM potatoes in the country were not given permits by the Environment Ministry, however the official opt-out has strengthened Lithuania’s position on this issue even further.

The Director of the Agricultural Production and Food Department at Lithuania’s Ministry of Agriculture, Rimantas Krasuckis, simply stated that GM crops are “not proven”. Read Full Article »

Member Abruptly Resigns from Key Federal Organic Advisory Panel

September 30th, 2015

USDA Seeking Replacement for National Organic Standards Board

usda logoCornucopia, WI: One of the newest members of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has resigned from the 15-member advisory body to the USDA. Paula Daniels left the board eight months into her five-year term after participating in just one board meeting. Daniels, from Los Angeles, occupied one of three NOSB seats reserved for environmentalists and/or resource conservationists.

Daniels, an attorney, cited changing work commitments for her decision to leave the board.

“NOSB members take on a considerable workload commitment over the course of their five-year terms,” said Will Fantle, the Codirector of the Wisconsin-based organic watchdog The Cornucopia Institute. “Perhaps Daniels, who had never been to an NOSB meeting prior to her appointment, was a little surprised at the size of the task.”

In addition to needing a replacement for Daniels, USDA is currently in the process of selecting five new board members to replace the individuals whose terms expire at the end of 2015. Read Full Article »

For the First Time, U.S. Considers Declaring a Bee Endangered

September 30th, 2015

by John R. Platt

Rusty-Patched Bumblebee
Source: Dan Mullen

The imperiled rusty-patched bumblebee, which pollinates blueberries, apples, and other crops, has disappeared from 87 percent of its historic range.

If the rusty-patched bumblebee is extremely lucky, it could soon be the first bee species to be protected under the United States Endangered Species Act.

The rusty-patched bumblebee has not been very lucky at all in recent years. The insect, which was once common to the Eastern Seaboard and the Midwest, has disappeared from 87 percent of its historic range. Even where it does exist, its populations are as much as 95 percent smaller than they were a few decades ago.

In response to this rapid decline, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation in January 2013 petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the rusty-patched bumblebee as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. Read Full Article »

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