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.

GMO Labels Make Good Sense

July 20th, 2015

by Marta Tellado

Marta Tellado
President & CEO of Consumer Reports

Editor’s Note: Marta Tellado is president and CEO of Consumer Reports. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) Recently, at my neighborhood supermarket, I spotted a young mom pushing a cart with two children and a week’s worth of groceries. I watched as she checked each item’s label carefully before putting it into her cart. Was she looking for peanuts that could send her kids to the emergency room, checking the nutritional content to make sure they get enough vitamin D, or seeing if there were additives or sweeteners she’d rather have them avoid?

It could have been any of those reasons or a dozen more. Everyone deserves to know what’s in their food so they can make informed decisions about what to feed themselves and their families.

Some companies, however, think consumers don’t have a right to know what’s in their food when it comes to genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Read Full Article »

Do Organic Farmers Need Special Seeds And Money To Breed Them?

July 20th, 2015

NPR – The Salt
by Dan Charles

Source: Cascadian Farm

Rearranging veggie genes is big business, and we’re not even talking about biotechnology. Private companies and university researchers spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year breeding better genetic varieties of food crops.

But organic farmers say those programs have a big blind spot when it comes to figuring out which new varieties are truly better. Few companies or researchers test those varieties under organic conditions.

“The first axiom of plant breeding is, you breed for the environment of intended use,” says Matthew Dillon, who founded a group called the Organic Seed Alliance. The problem is, organic fields and conventional fields can be very different environments, thanks to big differences in the ways that farmers deal with weeds and insect pests. Read Full Article »

Will the Worst Bird Flu Outbreak in US History Finally Make Us Reconsider Factory Farming Chicken?

July 17th, 2015

The Guardian
by Laura Entis

Source: Regan76

The avian flu outbreak that has more than doubled egg prices across the country has also led to the death of more than 48 million birds in a dozen states, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Iowa, the hardest hit, has euthanized more than 31 million birds, including approximately 40% of the state’s 60 million laying hens, according to Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Poultry Association. Turkey farmers in the state, while affected to a lesser degree, also have suffered. Minnesota, the leading turkey producer, has lost nearly 9 million turkeys.

The massive challenge of disposing of these sick birds illustrates the scale of chicken farming in the US. When avian flu infects a single bird on a chicken farm, the whole population has to be destroyed in order to stop the spread. In Iowa, for example, where an egg farm holds anywhere from 70,000 to 5 million birds, infection means slaughtering an unimaginable number of animals.

“It’s reasonable when we see these outbreaks to wonder if they are a manifestation of the unsustainability of the system,” says Suzanne McMillan, senior director of the farm and animal welfare campaign at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Read Full Article »

Call Your Representative Today: Act Now on GMO Labeling to Stop the “DARK” Act

July 17th, 2015

From the National Organic Coalition

Contact your Representative in Congress today!

Source: Devensters

The innocuously named HR 1599: the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act has been dubbed the DARK Act (Denying Americans the Right-to-Know Act) by members of the good food movement. The DARK Act will be voted on in Congress next week.

The DARK Act will:

  • Prevent states from adopting their own GMO labeling laws and reverse laws that have already passed.
  • Prevent state or county laws regulating GMO crops.
  • Prevent the Food and Drug Administration from requiring companies to label GMO ingredients and instead continue a “voluntary” labeling policy. In 14 years, not one company has voluntary labeled products containing GMO ingredients.

Take action now to stop the DARK Act!

Read Full Article »

Are the “Wires and Lights in a Box” Keeping us in the DARK?

July 17th, 2015

by Gayla Prewitt

DARK ActYou are probably familiar with the quote, “…control the food and you control the people.” I would like to take those words a step further and say, “Control the message about what we are doing to the food and you control the people even more.” With Congress set to vote soon on legislation that could forever change the way we label genetically modified food, I ask, where is the news coverage? Have you seen a single story about the, “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” on a mainstream television news channel?

Opponents of the bill have dubbed H.R. 1599, the DARK act, or the “Deny Americans the Right-to-know Act.” The bill, as proposed, would take away states’ rights to require labeling of GMO food and leave the system as it is currently, a voluntary labeling system. You would think an issue as fundamental as the safety and labeling of the food we eat would at least warrant a mention, if not be one of the lead stories. Is this an isolated incident? Read Full Article »

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