Promoting Economic Justice for Family-Scale Farming

NEWS FROM THE CORNUCOPIA INSTITUTE

News From the Cornucopia Institute

March 9, 2016

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Scientists Issue Statement of Concern about Glyphosate

Source: Pam Link

Source: Pam Link

Glyphosate-based herbicide (GBH) use has skyrocketed over the past decade, likely due to the emergence of glyphosate-resistant weeds and new-found uses preharvest and as a desiccant. In response, regulators have increased acceptable levels of GBHs in several staple crops. Fourteen scientists recently published a Statement of Concern in Environmental Health, drawing attention to rising human exposure to GBHs, outdated measures for tolerable daily intakes, and new research showing that glyphosate, recently classified as a probable carcinogen, is more persistent in soil and water than previously thought. The Statement of Concern shows the need to better monitor GBH residues in food, water, and humans, identifies the weaknesses in current regulatory assessment, and provides recommendations to address these issues.

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Oregon: Still No Answers on GMO Contamination

Source: Friends of Family Farmers

Source: Friends of Family Farmers

In response to Jackson County’s 2013 initiation of a ballot measure to ban GMOs, the state of Oregon quickly passed legislation preventing other counties from following suit. Despite the money spent by Big Ag to defeat the measure, Jackson County voters banned genetically engineered crops in 2014, in part to prevent contamination of non-GMO fields. In February the Oregon Legislature heard testimony on a bill which would repeal the reactionary 2013 law and allow local governments to regulate seeds and crops. Instead the bill was gutted and rewritten to call for GMO labeling of fish. No solution to GMO crop contamination has been offered by the state or its task force.

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New Tool for Organic Field Crop Growers

Dave Campbell of Lily Lake Organic Farm recently reviewed Marketing Organic Grain – A Farmer’s Guide by John Bobbe for the Organic Broadcaster. Marketing Organic Grain may be the only book to address planning, producing, and marketing organic grains from a practical perspective, and it has been described as a handy reference book for farmers transitioning to organic field crops. Bobbe’s graduate research, which informed USDA positions, showed that when farmers strategically market together, they can influence the prices they receive. He is a longtime organic farmer and the Executive Director of the Organic Farmers’ Agency for Relationship Marketing (OFARM).

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Sign the Petition: Keep the Soil in Organic

Source: Keep the Soil in Organic

Source: Keep the Soil in Organic

In 2010 the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) suggested the National Organic Program (NOP) enact a rule to prohibit hydroponic and aquaponic systems from organic certification. Disregarding the NOSB’s authority, the NOP has continued to certify soil-less operations. A group of organic farmers recently sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, asking for an immediate moratorium on the organic certification of all new hydroponic and aquaponic operations. Cornucopia encourages you to sign their supporting petition. Under pressure, the NOP has assembled a task force for further consideration. Read Cornucopia’s article and white paper on the subject here.

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Bayer Flouts Contract with EPA

Source: Andy Powell

Source: Andy Powell

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) handed the pesticide and pharmaceutical company Bayer a conditional registration in 2008 for the pesticide flubendiamide, marketed as Belt. The EPA found that flubendiamide could harm some aquatic invertebrates, and gave Bayer five years to prove otherwise or accept voluntary cancellation of the pesticide. Over the next seven years, one survey found it may harm specific aquatic invertebrates, and others made low-level warnings. The EPA is calling for the agreed-on cancellation, but Bayer has refused, denying that actual harm has been caused. Bayer is seeking a hearing to review the registration, which will likely delay the process for years while Belt remains on the market.

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The Cornucopia Institute

is a nonprofit organization engaged in research and educational activities supporting the ecological principles and economic wisdom underlying sustainable and organic agriculture. Through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, The Cornucopia Institute provides needed information to family farmers, consumers, stakeholders involved in the good food movement, and the media.

P.O. Box 126 Cornucopia, Wisconsin 54827
TEL: 608-625-2000 | FAX: 866-861-2214 | www.cornucopia.org