The Cornucopia Institute released a report today making the compelling case for protecting children’s health and development by choosing organic foods over their conventional, chemically grown and produced counterparts.
The report, Protecting Children’s Health: Choosing Organic Food to Avoid GMOs and Agricultural Chemicals, cites scientific data from numerous peer-reviewed, published studies that all point to the importance of protecting children from pesticide exposure.
“We wanted to compile the scientific data on organic vs. conventional foods and make it accessible to parents and other caregivers,” says Mark A. Kastel, Cornucopia’s codirector. “Parents are fortunate that an alternative to pesticide- and drug-intensive agriculture exists. We can opt out of Big Ag’s uncontrolled experiment on our children by choosing organic foods.” Read Full Article »
Major Brands Accused of Turning Health Food into Junk Food
A new report, Culture Wars: How the Food Giants Turned Yogurt, a Health Food, into Junk Food,issued by The Cornucopia Institute, accuses Dannon, Yoplait, Chobani and other major marketers of misleading parents, who are looking for healthier foods for their families, into purchasing yogurts loaded with sugar and containing a myriad of questionably safe artificial sweeteners, colors and emulsifiers.
The group alleges that agribusiness, in their marketing approach, has capitalized on yogurt’s historic, well-deserved healthful reputation while simultaneously adulterating the product, sometimes illegally, to gain competitive advantage and popular appeal.
In addition to The Cornucopia Institute’s comprehensive report on the yogurt industry, they also released a relatedbuyer’s guide rating 114 brands and separating the truly healthy options from those that would be found on any dietitian’s shortlist of foods to avoid.
“What is most egregious about our findings,” said Mark A. Kastel, Codirector of The Cornucopia Institute, “is the marketing employed by many of the largest agribusinesses selling junk food masquerading as health food, mostly aimed at moms, who are hoping to provide their children an alternative, a more nutritious snack. In some cases, they might as well be serving their children soda pop or a candy bar with a glass of milk on the side.”
Cornucopia, a Wisconsin-based food and farm policy research group, found that the flavored varieties (strawberry, for example) of certain brands contain no actual fruit, and include total sugars that rival those in candy bars.
Alternatively, rather than with sugar, some yogurt is sweetened artificially with such substances as aspartame (also marketed as NutraSweet®).
According to Dr. Qing Yang, a professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale University, “A rise in the percent of the population who are obese coincides with the increase in the widespread use of non-caloric artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose.” The use of aspartame is controversial and has been linked to brain tumors and neurological diseases in laboratory animals. Read Full Article »
Replacing Mother: Imitating Human Breast Milk in the Laboratory, details research questioning the alleged benefits of adding “novel” omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, produced in laboratories and extracted from algae and fungus, into infant formulas. The report presents disturbing research indicating that the new additives placed in infant formula are seriously endangering the health of some formula-fed newborns and toddlers. Aggressive marketing campaigns by some infant formula manufacturers appear to have encouraged new mothers to give up nursing and switch to use of the questionable infant formula products.
The Cornucopia Institute Releases Report Formally Requests Removal of Carrageenan from List of Allowed Additives
Cornucopia, WI – The Cornucopia Institute formally requested that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) remove the common additive carrageenan from the US food supply.
Last year the FDA rejected a 2008 citizen petition, which presented scientific studies linking carrageenan to gastrointestinal inflammation and disease, including cancer. The petition was filed by Dr. Joanne Tobacman, a physician-researcher at the University of Illinois – Chicago College of Medicine, who has been studying food-grade carrageenan for more than a decade.
“The FDA’s justification for denial was based on a sloppy and incomplete evaluation of available published research, and it was riddled with overt bias which appears to protect an industry’s profits at the expense of public health,” says Charlotte Vallaeys, Director of Farm and Food Policy at Cornucopia, a Wisconsin-based non-profit food policy research group. “We have asked them to reevaluate.”
Carrageenan is a highly processed additive extracted from red seaweed. The controversial material contributes no nutritional value or flavor, but is added to affect the texture of a wide range of foods and beverages.
Scientists have raised concern about its safety for decades, based on research linking food-grade carrageenan in the diet of laboratory animals to gastrointestinal disease, including colon tumors. Read Full Article »
Organics is at a crossroads. The founding principles of organics are increasingly under attack by powerful agribusiness corporations that want a slice of the organic profit pie.
Consumers who expect organic foods to be free from controversial non-organic ingredients can no longer trust the organic seal alone as an assurance that unnecessary synthetic and non-organic ingredients are kept out. Organic decision-makers have been bombarded with corporate lobbying power, and in many cases, failed to stand strong with organic farmers and organic consumers.
In the fall of 2011, when asked to vote to approve Martek Biosciences’ DHA and ARA oil, derived from genetically mutated fermented algae and soil fungus, the members of the National Organic Standards Board ignored the simple fact that non-organic ingredients should be allowed in organic foods only if they are essential – as in the case of baking powder to make organic cookies, or yeast to bake organic bread. Instead, the majority of NOSB members sided with corporate interests.
The Cornucopia Institute developed this guide to educate consumers about Martek’s DHA algal oil and ARA fungal oil. The guide will assist consumers in making informed decisions to buy certified organic foods without these novel, manufactured oils.