The Cornucopia Institute, through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, provides needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media. We support economic justice for the family-scale farming community – partnered with consumers – backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.
May 19th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: Rep. Pingree, a Maine Democrat and organic farmer, has introduced legislation along with some of her colleagues seeking increased funding for research on organic issues. Nearly all in the organic community are in agreement that the USDA needs to support more organic research.
Congresswoman Pingree leads bipartisan bill to support continued growth in organic agriculture industry
Rep. Chellie Pingree
Reps. Pingree, Newhouse, and Panetta introduce legislation to increase funding for USDA’s flagship organic research program
|Rep. Chellie Pingree
[On May 16] Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) will introduced the Organic Agriculture Research Act to support the continued growth of the nation’s booming organic agriculture industry.
The legislation increases funding for USDA’s flagship organic research program, the Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), from $20 million to $50 million annually. The program funds applied research projects across the country that help organic farmers improve their operations and meet the growing consumer demand for organic food.
Statements of support | Fact sheet Read Full Article »
May 19th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: As more farmers develop cancer after years of handling Roundup, their stories are being heard. Monsanto maintains the safety of its products, citing a lack of research showing health risks, even in the face of empirical evidence.
Ties between Monsanto and EPA raise questions about safety and regulation
by Karen Foshay
RoundUp is the most popular weed killer in the world and one of the most controversial. Millions of gallons of it are sprayed on playgrounds, farms and backyards all over California. But does it cause cancer?
Since it hit shelves in 1970, at least 700 individuals have filed lawsuits alleging the herbicide caused non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. The litigation has produced over a million pages of internal documents and provided a glimpse into Monsanto’s strategy to defend RoundUp and keep it on the market. Read Full Article »
May 18th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: North Carolina’s legislature has put its weight behind industrial hog farming, limiting the amount of money people can collect in lawsuits against hog farms over quality-of-life issues caused by pollution from their operations. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the law that provided protections to the offending polluters, but his veto was overridden by the North Carolina House and Senate along party lines.
NC hog farms win legal protections; Senate overrides Cooper’s veto
The News & Observer
by John Murawski
North Carolina’s hog farms won an extra measure of protection from lawsuits Thursday, after the state Senate overrode a veto by Gov. Roy Cooper, who had sought to preserve the right of property owners to sue farmers over quality-of-life issues.
The state Senate narrowly defeated Cooper’s veto, a day after the House took the same step. The Senate vote was 30 to 18, mostly along party lines, in a procedure that requires support from three-fifths of lawmakers present. The vote was similar Wednesday in the House, with 74 voting to override the governor’s veto, and 40 voting to support the governor.
The new law limits the amount of money people can collect in lawsuits against hog farms for odors, headaches, flies and other aggravations. Critics have said the law limits financial recovery to the point that such lawsuits are not likely to be filed in the future. Read Full Article »
May 18th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: Over 800 cancer patients are suing Monsanto for failing to warn them about the risk of cancer associated with Roundup. Cornucopia will continue to follow this story as it unfolds. You can avoid toxic, synthetic pesticides by eating organic and local food from trusted producers.
Patients: Roundup gave us cancer as EPA official helped the company
by Holly Yan
Christine Sheppard fantasizes about her life before cancer. Before she had to take painkillers “all the time.” Before she had to seriously worry about when she might die.
“I found out something was wrong because my right leg swelled up enormously,” Sheppard said. “They did an ultrasound and found I was completely full of these lymph nodes. It was stage IV large-cell lymphoma.”
Grueling chemotherapy treatments have started robbing her of mobility. “It’s a strange nerve thing,” she said. “I don’t always know where my feet are. I have to look down to see where they are.”
And the symptoms “will be progressively worse. There’s no cure. Eventually, I will probably end up fairly immobilized.”
Read Full Article »
May 16th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: Scott Pruitt, the new EPA chief, has ignored his own scientists’ recommendations on chlorpyrifos. Pruitt’s EPA has instead sided with industry interests in allowing the harmful pesticide to remain in use. Organic agriculture does not permit the use of chlorpyrifos.
A Strong Case Against a Pesticide Does Not Faze E.P.A. Under Trump
The New York Times
by Roni Caryn Rabin
Some of the most compelling evidence linking a widely used pesticide to developmental problems in children stems from what scientists call a “natural” experiment.
Though in this case, there was nothing natural about it.
Chlorpyrifos (pronounced klor-PYE-ruh-fahs) had been used to control bugs in homes and fields for decades when researchers at Columbia University began studying the effects of pollutants on pregnant mothers from low-income neighborhoods. Two years into their study, the pesticide was removed from store shelves and banned from home use, because animal research had found it caused brain damage in baby rats.
Pesticide levels dropped in the cord blood of many newborns joining the study. Scientists soon discovered that those with comparatively higher levels weighed less at birth and at ages 2 and 3, and were more likely to experience persistent developmental delays, including hyperactivity and cognitive, motor and attention problems. By age 7, they had lower IQ scores. Read Full Article »