Cornucopia News Archive

Organics’ Relationship to Climate Change

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

by Marie Burcham, JD
Director of Domestic Policy at The Cornucopia Institute


Discussing soil health at Vilicus Farms in MT
Source: USDA, Flickr

People choose organic food over conventional food for many reasons. Organic products are nutrient-dense and have fewer pesticide and other toxic chemical residues than conventional food. Organic farming offers benefits to family farms who focus on holistic practices. Now, more consumers are choosing organic and local food for additional reasons.

The foundational principles of organic farming – such as fostering healthy soil, supporting on-farm biodiversity, and the recycling and healthy use of livestock waste – all combat the biggest challenge of our time: climate change.

A Climate Consensus

Scientists and experts studying climate agree that climate change is a serious problem for current and future populations.

In August 2017, climate scientists leaked a draft report of a climate science breakdown to the New York Times. The authors of the report noted the thousands of studies documenting climate changes on land and in the air. Among the more significant of the study’s findings is that it is possible to attribute some extreme weather directly to climate change.

Climate change is not – and should never have been – a political issue. That being said, we recognize that it has been commonly framed as a political issue. It is a human issue on a global scale, just like the good food movement. We are hopeful the global nature of these issues can bring people of all political leanings together. Read Full Article »

Follow the National Organic Standards Board Meeting in Seattle, WA #NOSB

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

Join The Cornucopia Institute as we keep you informed via live tweet and web updates from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in Seattle, WA April 24-26.

We will be sharing the play by play both below and with our Twitter followers, at #NOSB or by simply following our stream.

For background on issues up for discussion at the meeting, see:

Friday, April 26, 2019

4:53 PM PT: NOSB Work Agenda

Summary of the NOSB’s Fall work agenda (Harriet Behar):

Will go to vote
Paper pots
Fatty alcohols

Liquid fish products annotation – TBD

Many sunset materials will be up for vote in the fall.

Use of excluded methods and vaccines will probably go to a vote in Fall (TBD). There needs to be more research on commercial availability.

Marine materials will remain a discussion; they are hoping to have a panel.

Genetic transparency of seed — TBD.

Induced mutagenesis and embryo transfer — TBD
They will probably vote on embryo transfer.

Research priorities will be collated by the subcommittees and be presented.

Policy and Procedure Manual update will be up for vote.

Other business and closing remarks:

NOP Deputy Administrator, Jennifer Tucker, said thank you to NOSB chairperson Harriet Baher for running this meeting, and to the entire NOSB. She also thanked the public and the commenters; noting that their passion and dedication is truly inspiring.


Read Full Article »

Spring 2019 NOSB Meeting – Webinars: April 17 & 18

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Cornucopia policy staff members attended the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) pre-meeting webinars on April 17 and 18, where the NOSB heard comments from the public. Our notes from this meeting are below.

Wednesday, April 17

Fourteen NOSB members present:

Source: Alan Clark, Flickr

Harriet Behar (January 2016 – January 2020) – NOSB Chair
Steve Ela (January 2017 – January 2022) – Vice Chair
Scott Rice (January 2016 – January 2021)
Sue Baird (January 2017 – January 2022)
Jesse Buie (January 2016 – January 2021)
Tom Chapman (January 2015 – January 2020)
Lisa de Lima (January 2015 – January 2020)
James R. “Rick” Greenwood (May 2018 – January 2023)
A-dae Romero-Briones (January 2016 – January 2021)
Dan Seitz (January 2016 – January 2021)
Ashley Swaffar (January 2015 – January 2020)
Emily Oakley (January 2016 – January 2021)
Asa Bradman (January 2017 – January 2022)

Will be joining later:
Dave Mortensen (January 2017 – January 2022)

There are currently 14 board members since one resigned.

Introductions from Michelle Arsenault.
Paul Lewis, Director of Standards Division from the National Organic Program (NOP), opens the meeting.

This webinar was recorded and transcribed and will be part of the official record for the NOSB’s Spring 2019 meeting.

[In Cornucopia staff notes on individual comments below, our staff has included the commenter’s name and affiliation] Read Full Article »

Cornucopia is Looking for a Development and Communications Director!

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

The Cornucopia Institute is seeking candidates for its Development and Communications Director position.  Applicants for this position should possess fundraising and member stewardship expertise and an ability to oversee the organization’s communications efforts. A heartfelt passion for protecting the environment, the good food movement, human health, humane livestock husbandry, and social/economic justice for family farmers is essential.

Learn more about this position and how to apply on our Jobs page. Please, no phone calls.

The Development and Communications Director is expected to provide his or her own worksite.  Because of this, employment with Cornucopia is possible anywhere in the U.S.

The Cornucopia Institute is an equal opportunity employer. Read Full Article »

Cornucopia’s Updated Core Values

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

Cornucopia staff and board members are grateful for the outpouring of kind and encouraging words from our supporters during this time of transition.

We and our members remain dedicated to the important work before us as watchdogs of the organic industry.

Our energized staff members have co-authored a list of updated core values to guide us as we move forward in our work and our search for an executive director.

I am proud to share it with you, below.


Devin Mathias
Interim Executive Director

Updated Core Values of The Cornucopia Institute

  • Integrity is the root of the organic community and is essential to the work we provide to our constituency. The Cornucopia Institute aims for full transparency in its efforts.

  • The Cornucopia Institute continues to be a watchdog within the organic industry, working to protect the character of the organic standards while auditing the integrity of products bearing the organic seal.
  • The Cornucopia Institute researches, issues, and promotes findings, based in science, that are fundamental to maintaining the integrity of organic labeling, production, processing, and marketing.
  • The Cornucopia Institute will be a vocal, visible catalyst for interaction between consumers and producers within the good food movement.
  • The Cornucopia Institute works to identify and capitalize on opportunities to partner with likeminded organizations and individuals. We are a collaborative and unifying force within the authentic organic industry.
  • The Cornucopia Institute is committed to treating others, including its dedicated champions, volunteers, and staff, with the utmost respect.

Read Full Article »