Cornucopia News Archive

Organic Farmer and Sunset Lawsuits Update

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Cornucopia Seeks Organic Justice

[This article was previously published in the winter issue of The Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.]

by Will Fantle
Codirector at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: Adobe Stock

The USDA is seeking to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Cornucopia challenging two of the agency’s appointments to the 15-member National Organic Standards Board.

Cornucopia alleges that two of the board’s four farmer seats are occupied by full-time agribusiness executives, rather than farmers. Congress explicitly reserved four seats on the board for individuals who “own or operate” organic farms.

As a result of one of our FOIA lawsuits, Cornucopia secured NOSB application documents. They revealed that neither Carmela Beck (a full-time Driscoll’s employee) nor Ashley Swaffar (then a full-time employee of Arkansas Egg) provided any documentary evidence indicating that they owned or managed an organic farm. Read Full Article »

Join Cornucopia’s Cofounder Mark Kastel in Dallas Next Week

Thursday, January 5th, 2017
Mark Kastel

Cornucopia invites all good food advocates in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to join Mark Kastel for drinks and an informal talk about organic food, health, and agricultural policy on Saturday, January 14 at 5:30 PM at Smoke restaurant next to the Belmont hotel in Dallas. Appetizers will be provided and cash bar/cocktails/soft drinks will be available. All are welcome to stay for an informal dinner with Mark and other Cornucopia members and supporters.

Mark, cofounder of The Cornucopia Institute, will be in Dallas presenting the banquet keynote at the 2017 Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association Conference in Mesquite on Friday, January 13. If you haven’t yet, there is still time to register to attend the banquet and/or the full conference. You do not have to attend the conference to join him for drinks on Saturday evening. Read Full Article »

Astroturf Groups

Monday, December 26th, 2016

What’s In a Name?

[This article was previously published in the winter issue of The Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.]

by Linley Dixon, PhD
Farm and Food Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: Adobe Stock

Who wouldn’t want to support organizations with names like “CropLife America,” “Coalition for Sustainable Organics,” or “Food Science Matters?” But, be careful! Just because something is stated in a title, doesn’t make it so.

It turns out that industry trade/lobby groups, the progenitors of corporate propaganda, can be highly deceptive when naming themselves and it takes a bit more research to find out the true make-up and intent of an organization.

CropLife America actually represents the interests of pesticide manufacturers. And, right now, the “Coalition for Sustainable Organics”is squaring off with Cornucopia farmer-members. How could the farmers we work with be against “sustainable organics?”

However, this is actually a front group for industrial-scale hydroponic operations, substituting the term “container growing” for “hydroponics.”

Similarly, a closer look at the organization “Food Science Matters” reveals that it has very little to do with communicating published food science. The “Coalition for Sustainable Organics” (CSO) is composed of major multinational, industrial hydroponic players, like Driscolls™, Wholesome Harvest™, and Nature Sweet™. In spite of their monikers, these operations are less sustainable than the majority of soil-based operations. Read Full Article »

Facebook User? You Probably Aren’t Seeing All of Our Good Food Posts

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

If you use Facebook to stay up to date with organizations you support, chances are you aren’t actually seeing many items they post in their timeline due to changes Facebook has quietly made. Organizations on Facebook are now routinely filtered out of your news feed, with only a small fraction of their posts ever making it to you. But you can fix this!

You can easily opt to receive all of Cornucopia’s updates. The next time you are signed into Facebook, simply visit Cornucopia’s Facebook page, click on the “Following” button, then select “See First” and ensure notifications are “On.”

Read Full Article »

The Cream Rises to the Top

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

The Truth Behind the Organic Dairy Label

[This article was previously published in the winter issue of The Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.]

by Marie Burcham, JD
Farm and Food Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: Adobe Stock

Scheduled for release in early 2017, The Cornucopia Institute will publish an updated organic dairy report and associated organic brand scorecard.

These releases will provide valuable information for consumers and wholesale buyers looking for the best – and avoiding the worst – in organic dairy.

Corruption in the organic dairy sector was the first issue that Cornucopia focused on after industrial agriculture pushed its way into the business.

When Cornucopia found “organic” dairy cows living in factory-farm conditions, their lives shortened from being pushed into high production and without adequate time on pasture, we saw a clear need for action. Read Full Article »