Four Cash Crops Take Up Half of Global Farmland

Cornucopia’s Take: Although more kinds of crops are now grown than in the 1970s, almost half of all farmland in the world  currently produces wheat, corn, soy, or rice. Monocultures are notoriously vulnerable to pests, disease, and increasingly wild swings in precipitation and temperature. Biodiversity improves the resilience of the ecosystem as a whole and… Read more »

Real Organic Project Symposium, March 2 at Dartmouth College

Cornucopia’s colleagues at the Real Organic Project are hosting a symposium at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire on March 2. You will hear many passionate speakers from across the fields of farming, policy, science, and activism offer their takeaways and ideas for action regarding the many challenges and opportunities facing organic farmers today. TED-style talks will be… Read more »

Dropping Flies: Over 30% of Insects Now Endangered

Cornucopia’s Take: Insect mass is declining by 2.5% annually. They pollinate plants, recycle waste, and provide food for many species, and humans cannot live without their various ecosystem services. More insects can be observed on organic farms than conventional or GMO farms. Deforestation, pesticide use, and other changes to ecosystems are thought to be major… Read more »

New Research Analysis Finds Glyphosate Linked to Cancer

Cornucopia’s Take: According to a new meta-analysis, people with prolonged or high-level exposure to glyphosate (the active ingredient in Bayer/Monsanto’s Roundup) are 41% more likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The study’s authors focused on the most extreme cases of glyphosate exposure, reasoning that those would be the most likely individuals to develop cancer if glyphosate… Read more »

Your Pesticide Levels Can Drop Dramatically by Eating All Organic

Cornucopia’s Take: In a new study, 16 children and adults who ate only organic food for six days experienced a 60.5% reduction in the levels of common pesticides in their bodies. Although the sample was very small, the study confirms similar previous research. Criticisms of those previous studies included the small sample size, drawing attention to… Read more »

China Stacks Hogs to Save Land and Transportation Costs

Cornucopia’s Take: The article below offers surreal imagery of hogs raised in high-rise farms. Hog waste from one such facility will be shunted to on-site waste treatment facilities before being sold to farmers as fertilizer and sprayed on nearby forests. Observers of intensive livestock management worry that the set-up creates a massive disease vector. Seven… Read more »

GMO Bt Crops May Not Be as Safe as Advertised

Cornucopia’s Take: Cry toxins are highly active protein toxins originally isolated from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). They are genetically engineered into some GMO crops to perforate the gut membrane of insects that eat them. Poisoned pests stop eating and eventually die. Unfortunately, non-target animals, including monarch butterflies, swallowtail butterflies, lacewings, caddisflies, bees, water fleas, and… Read more »

Sewage Sludge on Fields Poisoning Wisconsin Water

Cornucopia’s Take: Sewage sludge contains toxic wastes, including pharmaceuticals, household and industrial chemicals, and heavy metals. Many industrial chemicals, including compounds called PFAS used to make heat-resistant, stain-proof, and nonstick products, are unregulated. Very small amounts of PFAS compounds have serious health implications, and recent testing has revealed dangerous levels in Wisconsin water. More than… Read more »

Judge to Allow Evidence of Monsanto’s Alleged Ghostwriting at Trial

Cornucopia’s Take: Edwin Hardeman, one of over 9,300 plaintiffs charging that Monsanto’s Roundup caused their cancer, has received tentatively good news. The presiding federal judge has allowed evidence pointing to Monsanto’s alleged ghostwriting of scientific research and attempts to influence regulators and scientists regarding Roundup’s safety. The order applies to two more upcoming cases before… Read more »

Big Ag’s Long Arms in Scientific Research

Cornucopia’s Take: As public funding for university research dwindles, industry research frequently fills the void. This means the questions researchers address are often questions Big Ag would like to see answered. Unfortunately, it also means that research performed by academics who seek to improve the health of people and the environment may find themselves on… Read more »