Promoting Economic Justice for Family-Scale Farming

NEWS FROM THE CORNUCOPIA INSTITUTE

News From the Cornucopia Institute

May 28, 2016

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Nanoparticles in Infant Formula: Untested and Unlabeled

Source: Alper Tecer

Source: Alper Tecer

A recent Friends of the Earth report has found nanoparticles in common powdered infant formulas sold in the U.S. The FDA does not require manufacturers to denote ingredients as nano-sized, and little research has been done on the effects of ingesting these tiny and incredibly mobile particles. Organic formulas, to date, do not contain nano-particles, but may contain a host of other troubling ingredients, including carrageenan, palm oil, and DHA. Cornucopia cannot recommend any specific formula at this time. Please contact formula companies to demand transparency on nanoparticles and better ingredients in all infant formula.

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New Animal Welfare Rule Rouses “Big Egg”

Herbruck's Poultry Saranac, MI

Herbruck's Poultry Saranac, MI

The proposed animal welfare rule is contentious for nearly all organic livestock farmers, but particularly for industrial organic egg producers who rely on screened porches to meet outdoor access provisions. The Senate Appropriations Committee was poised to kill the rule, which would outlaw the use of porches, but, due to public blowback, they instead added advisory language to their report. Factory farms argue that true outdoor access is dangerous for hens and public health. One such producer, Herbruck’s, houses about 1.8 million birds at its Saranac, Michigan location, and claims to produce nearly one in five organic eggs on the market. Cornucopia’s egg scorecard and report, Scrambled Eggs, can help you decide which authentic organic eggs to buy.

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Shady Dealings with Ag Check-offs

Source: Ian Britton

Source: Ian Britton

Check-off administrators are appointed by the USDA to help advertise goods from a specific industry, like “the incredible, edible egg.” Check-off programs are funded by a levy on goods sold, with most farmers viewing them as a tax on their production. Last year the well-known egg check-off program illicitly plotted to stifle competition from an egg alternative startup company, and was found out via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. In response, agricultural lobbyists, including United Egg Producers, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and National Pork Producers Council, have now proposed a change to FOIA that would hide their check-off program communications from the public.

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Rising CO2 Levels Contribute to Bee Die-Off

Source: Steve Burt

Source: Steve Burt

A new study shows that protein levels in goldenrod pollen have fallen by 30% from 1842 to 2014. During that same time period, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide rose from about 280 parts per million to 398 ppm. Increased CO2 levels encourage the plant’s starchier parts to grow faster, resulting in less protein in the plant as a whole. Bees collecting this inferior goldenrod pollen are nutritionally short-changed, thereby damaging the size and strength of the bee colony.

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NOSB Vacancies: Nomination Deadline Is June 3

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is a 15-member appointed board of organic stakeholders who advise the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) on substances and other regulatory topics. USDA is now seeking applicants to fill the five-year terms for an environmentalist/resource conservationist; an organic farmer; an organic handler or processor; a representative of a public or consumer interest group; and a scientist. Application instructions can be found here, with a deadline of June 3, 2016. The Cornucopia Institute has renewed its call to USDA Secretary Vilsack to make the NOSB selection process open and transparent, and recently sued the USDA for the appointment of two agribusiness employees to seats on the NOSB that are exclusively designated for farmers.

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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