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.
December 11th, 2017
Decoding Granola/Protein/Energy Bar Labels:
Avoiding Hexane-Extracted Ingredients
Scorecard Separates Gimmicky Junk Food from
True Organic/Nutrient Dense Brands
A new report exposes misleading marketing practices by food industry giants that market candy-like snack and energy bars as wholesome and nutritious. Issued by The Cornucopia Institute, a non-profit food and farm policy research group, the report further exposes leading natural/organic brands for including cheap, conventional ingredients instead of creating nutritive products that qualify for the USDA organic label.
The report, and an accompanying scorecard, Raising the Bar, Choosing Healthy Snack Bars versus Gimmicky Junk Food, details how snack bar quality varies widely among brands, even among the many brands that market themselves as “made with” organic ingredients (a label with lower federal standards than certified organic). The report exposes USDA National Organic Program regulations that provide industry-friendly loopholes for the use of conventional, hexane-extracted ingredients in the “made with” organic category.
“The highly profitable snack bar industry is rife with gimmicky substitutes, such as protein isolates, instead of whole food ingredients,” says the report’s lead author, Linley Dixon, PhD, chief scientist at Cornucopia. Read Full Article »
December 8th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: The unfolding tragedy of deaths by suicide among American farmers is incredibly distressing and painful. One of the reasons Cornucopia was founded was to protect the economic lifeline that organic agriculture offered family farmers who were facing increased economic stress from the get big or get out mentality pervading conventional agriculture. And now, sadly, even many organic farmers are feeling that stress created by the creep of factory farms into organics, fraudulent imports ruining domestic markets, and loosening of organic regulations to accommodate such practices as hydroponics.
December 7th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: The approval by the European Union to give Monsanto a five-year authorization for continued use of its flagship pesticide glyphosate is meeting with resistance. Organizations concerned with health and the impacts of dangerous chemicals used in agriculture are mounting a legal challenge to the decision. Cornucopia is one of many organizations questioning the science colored by Monsanto that they present to regulators and decision makers. Glyphosate and similar toxic agrichemicals are prohibited from use in organic agriculture.
Environmental Groups Plan to Sue EU Regulators over Glyphosate Decision
European health and environmental groups Global 2000 and Pesticide Action Network (PAN) have announced plans to sue European Union authorities over their assessment of the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup products produced by the chemical company Monsanto. The groups claim that the German regulatory authority, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) used material directly from Monsanto in their report over the safety of glyphosate without making clear that the data came from Monsanto itself. “Both the BfR and the EFSA were in breach of the requirement obliging them to make an independent, objective and transparent assessment,” the groups said in a statement provided to Reuters. Read Full Article »
December 1st, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: The article below details Monsanto’s systematic campaign to discredit and potentially de-fund the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the agency tasked by the World Health Organization with identifying carcinogens. The information contained here underscores the need for individuals to educate themselves and to vote for politicians who are devoted to public health over campaign contributions.
The Monsanto Papers, Part 1 — Operation: Intoxication
Environmental Health News
by Stéphane Horel and Stéphane Foucart, Le Monde
In order to save glyphosate, the Monsanto corporation has undertaken an effort to destroy the United Nations’ cancer agency by any means possible. Here is the part one of an investigation from Le Monde.
Editors Note: This month Le Monde won the Prix Varenne Presse quotidienne nationale (Varenne Award for the national daily press) for their Monsanto Papers series, an investigation on the worldwide war the Monsanto corporation has started in order to save glyphosate, originally published in June.
Below is part one, originally published June 1, 2017, translated by GM Watch and the Health and Environment Alliance.
“We have been attacked in the past, we have faced smear campaigns, but this time we are the target of an orchestrated campaign of an unseen scale and duration.” Christopher Wild’s smile quickly faded. Through the window of the high rise where the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is headquartered, the rooftops of Lyon, France, spread out behind his tall figure. Read Full Article »
November 30th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: Agrichemicals are typically authorized for 15 years at a time in the European Union, but, due to serious concerns about the safety of glyphosate and the allegedly inappropriate involvement of pesticide manufacturers in its scientific review, glyphosate has only been approved for five years. Chemical companies are claiming politics carried the day, while environmentalists bemoan the government’s decision to reauthorize glyphosate at all. Glyphosate, Monsanto’s flagship product, is not allowed in organic agriculture.
Glyphosate, Top-Selling Weed Killer, Wins E.U. Approval for 5 Years
The New York Times
by Danny Hakim
The European Union voted on Monday to extend its authorization for the world’s best-selling herbicide for an abbreviated period of five years, with France and Germany splitting over the move.
President Emmanuel Macron of France said after the decision was announced that he had asked government officials to draw up a plan for banning the herbicide, glyphosate, in his country within three years. He also posted a message on Twitter with the hashtag #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain. France led the opposition to allowing the use of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup and in weed killers made by other companies. Read Full Article »