Promoting Economic Justice for Family-Scale Farming

NEWS FROM THE CORNUCOPIA INSTITUTE

News From the Cornucopia Institute

June 14, 2016

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Call Now to Protect Vermont’s GMO Food Labeling Law

Source: Alexandra E Rust

Source: Alexandra E Rust

Vermont’s GMO food labeling law is scheduled to take effect on July 1. Monsanto and other Big Food opponents are scrambling to come up with a federal law to block or preempt Vermont’s state law. Millions are being spent to keep you uninformed. Take action to stop Big Ag from preempting the Vermont law. Call (202) 224-3121 to connect to the U.S. Capitol Switchboard. Operators will connect you to your Senator’s office. Tell your Senator you want them to protect your right to know what’s in your food.

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Comment by July 13: Draft Organic Livestock Rules

The USDA’s proposed organic animal welfare standards rule is a hodge-podge of regulations. Some are a step in the right direction, some favor corporate organic agriculture, and some are just not good farming practice. The minimum poultry welfare standards in the draft rule are grossly inadequate, and the dairy standards jeopardize cow health and the environment. What’s worse, needed changes could take as long as eight years to implement. The public comment period ends on July 13 (extended from June thanks to popular outcry). You can learn more about the proposal, read Cornucopia’s analysis, and find sample comment language here.

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Cornucopia’s Kastel Says Columnist Misses Mark on Organics

Source: UNDP

Source: UNDP

A Washington Post opinion piece asks, “Is organic agriculture really better for the environment?” Pro-GMO author Tamar Haspel touts conventional agriculture’s higher yields (in direct opposition to Rodale Institute’s findings) and erosion reduction when a no-till system is used. She indicates pesticides used in organics are as toxic as those used in conventional agriculture, then shares a favorite refrain of Big Ag: trace amounts of pesticides in food are not dangerous to human health. In a brief response, Cornucopia codirector Mark Kastel, points out the institutional research bias and lack of funding for organics that makes these sorts of arguments suspect. Read his full response here.

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Soil: A Love Story

Source: Butterworks Farm

Source: Butterworks Farm

Butterworks Farm in Vermont turns 40 this season, and Jack Lazor, one of its stewards, shares his observations and discusses his deep love of the soil. With the help of soil guru Fred Franklin, Acres USA, and the essays of William Albrecht, Jack set out to balance the minerals in the soils on his farm decades ago. Although the inputs were costly, he soon realized his cows were healthier and producing more milk. His fields were thriving as well, tripling in feed quality and output, allowing him to grow his herd. You can read Jack’s uplifting story here.

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New Report Sweeps GE Crop Issues Under Rug

Source: Jimmy Smith

Source: Jimmy Smith

recent report by The National Academy of Science (NAS) found no evidence that genetically engineered traits provide better yields. The report did find that herbicide-resistant crops result in increased herbicide use. However, the report avoids several important topics including the “transgenic treadmill,” whereby herbicide-resistant weeds created by current herbicide use become the pretext for new herbicides and new GE herbicide-resistant crops. NAS also questions the link between glyphosate use and monarch butterfly decline, although the science is accepted by both independent scientists and the USDA. Read Center for Food Safety’s full analysis of the report, Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects, here.

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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