Current Action Alerts

Proxy Letter from Certified Organic Farmers to Certifiers

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

If you are a certified organic farmer or business owner, please consider printing and filling out the proxy letter below. If you return it to Cornucopia, we will send it on to your certifier along with proxies from other farmers who share your certifer.

Here is the letter text:

Dear (Name of certifier) CEO,

As my certifier I need you to be fully supportive of my efforts as a responsible farmer in protecting the
integrity and reputation of the organic label in the eyes of my customers.

If you wish to retain my business the next time I renew my certification, I respectfully request that you go on the record and join me in retaining and protecting the true meaning that the organic farming and food movement was founded upon. My requirements are simple:

1. Instead of standing with other members of the accredited certifier trade group, I ask that you be transparent with Cornucopia researchers by filling out their survey and having an officer of your organization sign and stand behind the representations you make.

2. If you have certified any dairy CAFOs please institute a moratorium on certifying any with a stocking density of more than three cows per acre, any fields that are counted as “pasture” that are planted with annuals in desert-like climates, any operations milking more than two times per day, and any dairies that bring in cattle that were not managed organically from the last third of gestation as the regulations clearly require.

3. If you have certified any egg laying operations that substitute an enclosed porch to meet the legal requirement for “outdoor” access, I ask that you place an immediate moratorium on certifying any additional operations of that nature. The law states that all organic livestock must have access to the outdoors. In addition, hens in most of these aviary systems cannot access the outdoors.

4. The Organic Foods Production Act and the federal regulations both clearly require careful soil stewardship as a prerequisite for organic certification. If you have certified any hydroponic operations, you should immediately implement a moratorium on certifying any produce that does not have its roots in the ground (with the exception of sprouts and other similar vegetables and plants, seedlings, or culinary spices that are sold in their initial containers).

It is critical that ethical certifiers breakaway from their unethical peers that skirt the rules and diminish the value of the entire industry for their own personal gain. These are simple requests and certainly not anything radical. Managing livestock with a more humane level of welfare has always been part of organics. And the mantra “feed the soil not the plants” has been a foundational precept of organic growing since the movement was formed.

Please side with my family and the other ethical farmers, ranchers, and growers whose livelihoods depend on the reputation of the organic label.

Sincerely yours,
(You may sign the letter or, if you are concerned about possible retribution, you may choose to sign anonymously. In that case, please provide Cornucopia with your identifying information so that we can verify your farm on the NOP list of organic farms. We will share your letter anonymously with your certifier)

Click here to download the proxy.

Demand Real Organic Food from Real Organic Farmers

Friday, November 10th, 2017

Sign the Proxy Asking Major Retailers to Offer Genuine Organic Choices 

We need the stores we shop at to quit trying to sell us fake organic food from inhumane livestock factories, masquerading as organic, or hydroponic vegetables fertilized with conventional soybeans and grown in ground up coconut waste … or even ground up recycled plastic!

Top retailers like Whole Foods Markets, Costco, Target, Safeway, Walmart, and Kroger must be convinced to provide choices in their grocery aisles for authentic, nutrient-dense organic food grown in rich, carefully stewarded soil.

If the nutrients are not in our soil, they are not in our food …. and they are not in our families! Factory farm meat, dairy and egg production, and fruits and vegetables grown without soil rich in humus result in inferior flavor and nutrition.

Increasingly, grocery aisles are filled with faux organics brought to consumers by corporations that are selling out the true meaning of organics.  Read Full Article »

Is Your Turkey or Chicken Really Organic or from a Factory Farm? Help us Find Out.

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017
Sample images of chicken
and distributor information

Cornucopia’s scorecard ratings help you choose the best food for your family while rewarding the most ethical organic producers.

We are starting investigative work to develop a new scorecard to rate brands of organic chicken and turkey, and we need your help!

In order to include all possible brands on the poultry scorecard, we need to know what brands of certified organic chicken and turkey are available at retail in your local grocery store or co-op.

Here’s how you can help: the next time you are food shopping, note the organic turkey or chicken brands available in your grocery store. Take a photo of the label or write down the following information:

  1. The brand name
  2. The organic certifier’s name
  3. The processor or distributor’s name (if different than the brand name)
  4. The name and location of the store

All of this should be available on the poultry package or on store signage.

NOTE: We are only collecting information on certified organic brands. Read Full Article »

Frack No!

Friday, September 4th, 2015

[The Sierra Club and The Cornucopia Institute have formally requested the USDA prohibit the use of wastewater from oil and gas drilling operations in organic food production. Read the letter here.]

Sign the Petition to Ban the Use of Frack and
Sewage Wastewater for Growing Organic Food

CI_FrackThisWastewaterPetitionThe USDA needs to tighten federal standards to prohibit the use for crop irrigation of fracking wastewater from oil and gas drilling, and from the nation’s municipal sewage treatment systems, in organic food production.

Research shows that the copious amounts of frack wastewater, a byproduct of the hydraulic fracturing technique in gas and oil production, are contaminated with toxic chemicals and oil.  And recent reporting has indicated its use in growing organic food in California.

Effluent from sewage plants, which co-mingles waste from domestic and industrial sources, can contain pathogens and drug residues in addition to heavy metals and toxic chemicals and should similarly be prohibited for use in the growing of organic food.

Please add your name to the petition to let the USDA know that fracking and sewage wastewaters should not be used to grow organic crops. Read Full Article »

Gut Wrenching! Tell FDA to Ban Carrageenan. Common Food Ingredient Linked to Intestinal Inflammation, Bloating, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis, Cancer and More.

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

sick-3Rates of digestive diseases are rising—ranging from widespread digestive discomfort (“belly bloat,” “spastic colon,” Irritable Bowel Syndrome) to serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases such as ulcerative colitis and colon cancer.

For decades, scientists conducting laboratory animal experiments using the common food additive carrageenan have found higher rates of gastrointestinal inflammation, colitis-like disease, and even colon cancer.

Carrageenan is a convenient and unique food additive for the food industry, and selling carrageenan is a profitable enterprise for a handful of chemical corporations. For decades, these companies have spread misinformation—often, outright lies—about carrageenan’s safety.

Carrageenan can be found in many foods, even foods labeled “natural” and “organic.” It is widely used in dairy products (chocolate milk, whipping cream, ice cream, nonfat sour cream), frozen dinners, dairy alternatives (soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk), prepared poultry and cold cuts, nutritional drinks, and even infant formula.

sickAnd who has been more than willing to listen to the corporate scientists rather than to the scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health? That’s right: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In June 2012, the FDA rejected a citizen petition by the nation’s preeminent publicly funded scientist and carrageenan expert, who formally requested that carrageenan be removed from our food supply.

Sign the petition to remove carrageenan, and let the FDA know that it’s time to act in the interest of our health and safety. Carrageenan is a dangerous food additive, and should be removed from the list of allowed additives!

The FDA’s shameless catering to corporate interests has to end.

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