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.

Gov. Brown Signs Bill Banning Commercial Production of Genetically Modified Salmon

October 15th, 2014

The Press Democrat
by Derek Moore

Credit: Steven Pavlov

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a North Coast lawmaker’s bill banning the commercial production of genetically altered salmon.

AB 504, authored by Assemblyman Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata, extends the prohibition of spawning or cultivating so-called “transgenic salmonids” in the Pacific Ocean to all waters of the state. The hatchery production and stocking of such fish also is prohibited.

The legislation protects the state’s native steelhead trout and salmon populations, Chesbro said. He noted that federal food and drug regulators are reviewing an application by a company, AquaBounty Technologies, that seeks to raise genetically altered salmon in the United States. Read Full Article »

Dr. Huber’s Brave Crusade Against Biotech

October 14th, 2014

Prevention
by Robyn O’Brien

Credit: London Permaculture

Dr. Don Huber was hit by a car last night. He is a whistle blower in the food world and someone I have had the honor of knowing.

Dr. Huber is Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology at Purdue University, a land grant institution, and has been studying plants for 55 years. He has received various awards for his scientific accomplishments and contributions to government.

He was Cereal Pathologist at the University of Idaho for 8 years before joining the Department of Botany & Plant Pathology at Purdue University in 1971.

His agricultural research the past 50 years has focused on the epidemiology and control of soil borne plant pathogens with emphasis on microbial ecology, cultural and biological controls, and physiology of host parasite relationships.

He’s in his 80s, and he is also a father, a grandfather and has had a 41-year military career as a retired Colonel.

He is someone I have turned to in this work when I read,”Pesticides may be putting young children at risk of cancer.”  Other headlines have suggested that pesticides are linked to Parkinson’s, autism and other conditions. Read Full Article »

Food Sleuth Radio: Jeff Ritterman on Inequity and Taking Our Food System Back

October 14th, 2014

CIJeffRittermanRadio

Jeff Ritterman, M.D., member, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and former Chief of Cardiology at Kaiser Richmond Medical Center, CA, explores the link between fatal kidney disease among farmers in Central America, Sri Lanka and India and exposure to heavy metals and Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide.  Listen at http://www.prx.org/pieces/130714-food-sleuth-radio-jeff-ritterman-interview.  And if you like the show, please ask the general manager of your local community or public radio station to air it.  The show is available free to Pacifica members, or through Public Radio Exchange. Read Full Article »

Cotton Production Linked to Images of the Dried Up Aral Sea Basin

October 13th, 2014

The fashion industry is linked to the environmental devastation in the Central Asian inland sea – once the world’s fourth largest lake, the Aral sea ‘completely dried’ in August

The Guardian
by Tansy Hoskins

The Aral Sea: The raised land to the left
used to be the shore
Image via Wikimedia Commons

What do the catwalks of Paris have to do with 25,000 miles of exposed sea bed thousands of miles to the east? While all eyes have been fixed on designer collections and members of the front row, the true cost of the fashion industry has been revealed in a shock announcement by NASA that the Aral Sea in Central Asia has now completely dried up.

The Aral Sea was once the world’s fourth largest lake, home to 24 species of fish and surrounded by fishing communities, lush forests and wetlands. While the lake was salt water, the rivers that fed it were fresh water. In the 1950’s the Soviet Union began using the rivers to irrigate the surrounding agricultural area, a process that has been continued to this day by Uzbekistan’s brutal dictator Islam Karimov.

The exposure of the bottom of the lake has released salts and pesticides into the atmosphere poisoning both farm land and people alike. Carcinogenic dust is blown into villages causing throat cancers and respiratory diseases.

The fashion industry is linked to this horror of dictatorships and environmental devastation by the fact that the crop being grown with the river water is cotton – 1.47m hectares of cotton. A hugely water intensive crop, one shirt can use up to 2,700 litres. Read Full Article »

So You Want To Be a Farmer…

October 13th, 2014

Ever dream of chucking it all for the simple life? Read this first.

Modern Farmer
by Jesse Hirsch

Credit: John Carrel

“Sorry — you’re low man on the totem pole.”

With those words, farmer Eliza Winters dispatched me to the field. I was on rock duty — a tough job on any day, but especially on this muggy June afternoon, with nary a cloud to block the sun.

Winters’ Hill Hollow Farm is situated in upstate New York, a region infamous for its stony topsoil. Being on rock duty meant that I had to hustle behind a tractor, hoist rocks from the newly tilled dirt and toss them in the front bucket. The work was monotonous and exhausting. At one point I lost my (poorly chosen) slip-on sneakers in the mud, forcing me to go elbow-deep to excavate. Several hours later, every muscle ached; my skin was caked with soil and sweat. My first day on the farm was rough. Read Full Article »

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