Media/News Archive

California Regulators to List Glyphosate as Carcinogen July 7

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Despite Monsanto’s continuing objections, California regulators will add glyphosate to the state’s list of chemicals known to cause cancer. The company will have one year from the date of listing to either label their products, such as Roundup, as carcinogens or remove them from shelves. Monsanto has indicated it will pursue further legal challenges.

California to List Herbicide as Cancer-Causing; Monsanto Vows Fight
The New York Times
by Reuters

Source: Mike Mozart

Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto Co’s popular Roundup weed killer, will be added to California’s list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said on Monday.

Monsanto vowed to continue its legal fight against the designation, required under a state law known as Proposition 65, and called the decision “unwarranted on the basis of science and the law.”

The listing is the latest legal setback for the seeds and chemicals company, which has faced increasing litigation over glyphosate since the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer said that it is “probably carcinogenic” in a controversial ruling in 2015. Read Full Article »

Monsanto’s Dicamba Damaging Crops Across Arkansas

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Dicamba is commonly used by conventional farmers to kill weeds in fields before planting. The timing of spraying is problematic as the herbicide is known to drift from the fields it is sprayed on and damage surrounding crops. Monsanto sold its dicamba-resistant seed to farmers prior to approval, and conventional farmers in Arkansas, desperate to kill pesticide-resistant Palmer amaranth, have been using dicamba this growing season. Arkansas has seen a record number of complaints of dicamba drift-damaged crops. The Arkansas Plant Board last week voted for a ban on using the herbicide outside of pastureland, pending the governor’s signature. Dicamba is prohibited in organic agriculture.

Arkansas Tries To Stop An Epidemic Of Herbicide Damage
NPR – The Salt
by Dan Charles

Number of complaints filed by county.
Source: Arkansas Agriculture Department

Arkansas’s pesticide regulators have stepped into the middle of an epic battle between weeds and chemicals, which has now morphed into a battle between farmers. Hundreds of farmers say their crops have been damaged by a weedkiller that was sprayed on neighboring fields. Today, the Arkansas Plant Board voted to impose an unprecedented ban on that chemical.

“It’s fracturing the agricultural community. You either have to choose to be on the side of using the product, or on the side of being damaged by the product,” says David Hundley, who manages grain production for Ozark Mountain Poultry in Bay, Arkansas. Read Full Article »

Syngenta Ordered to Pay Full Damages to Farmers for Unapproved Corn

Monday, June 26th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: In 2013 Syngenta rushed to sell their new line of GMO corn to farmers, even though China, a major buyer of U.S. corn, had not yet approved it. China rejected the new GMO corn and banned all shipments of U.S. corn, leaving the farmers with nowhere to sell their crop. The farmers appear to have been used by Syngenta to force Chinese approval of the new GMO – and used by China to lessen that country’s dependence on U.S. corn.

Syngenta Loses $218 Million Verdict in First GMO Trial Test
Bloomberg Markets
by Margaret Cronin Fisk and Tim Bross

Syngenta AG was ordered to pay $217.7 million to a group of Kansas farmers who claimed the company carelessly marketed its genetically modified corn seed, causing contamination of U.S. crops and a rejection of export sales to China by officials there.

A Kansas jury issued the verdict Friday in the first trial brought by U.S. farmers alleging Syngenta caused five years of depressed corn prices. Several other trials are pending as lawyers pursue suits on behalf of some 350,000 corn growers claiming as much as $13 billion in losses. Read Full Article »

Food Safety Rule to Disproportionately Cost Small Farmers

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: The FDA’s Produce Safety Rule will start going into effect next year. The cost to small farmers for implementing the proposed rules may well endanger the livelihoods of organic farmers and their customers’ access to safe and nutritionally superior local and organic food. Not all farms are alike, and the FDA rule fails to address the higher risks associated with the spread of E.coli bacteria from the mountains of manure at conventional factory farms.

NSAC’s Blog

Source: Oregon Department of Agriculture

In 2006, an E. coli outbreak linked to spinach grown and packed in California resulted in the infection of nearly 200 people across the country; the outbreak was so serious that in some cases the infections resulted in deaths. This serious food safety lapse was one of the key catalysts for introducing stricter requirements for food safety on California farms. Among the new protections introduced following the outbreak was the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA), a food safety program with specific requirements for producers of leafy greens.

Changes to food safety requirements weren’t just confined to California, however. The 2006 outbreak also led to changes in federal food safety regulations, specifically the creation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law in 2011. FSMA regulations cover the entire food supply chain – from farms to processors to transporters and imports – and shifted the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) operating procedure from largely reactionary to preventative. Read Full Article »

“Natural” Chicken Contains Antibiotics, Steroids, Hallucinogenic Drug, and More

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: “Natural” is a marketing claim with little meaning, and questionable food companies regularly take advantage of consumer assumptions. In this case, Sanderson Farms has run afoul of even the very lax regulation of the word. “Natural” is no substitute for pasture-raised, certified organic chicken.

Nonprofits Sue Third-Largest Poultry Co. for False Advertising of Drug-Contaminated Chicken
Organic Consumers Association

Source: PressReleaseFinder

Sanderson Farms’ ‘100% Natural’ Advertising Claims Deceive Consumers, Threaten Public Health

Three nonprofit groups filed suit today against Laurel, Miss.-based Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ: SAFM) for falsely advertising products that contain a wide range of unnatural and in some cases prohibited substances, as “100% Natural.” Substances include antibiotics, steroids, hormones and even a drug with hallucinogenic effects. The groups suing Sanderson are Organic Consumers Association (OCA), Friends of the Earth (FoE), and Center for Food Safety (CFS).

Sanderson Chicken claims its chicken is 100% Natural or “nothing but chicken.” But recent testing conducted by the National Residue Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) found 49 instances in which samples of Sanderson products tested positive for residues of synthetic drugs that are not “100% Natural.”  Thirty-three percent of the 69 FSIS inspections, conducted in five states, uncovered residues that no reasonable consumer would consider “natural.” Read Full Article »