The Cornucopia Institute

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.

Congressional GMO Voters Guide: Who Sold Out the “Right to Know”

November 1st, 2018

The Cornucopia Institute Grades Senators and Representatives Ahead of 2018 Fall Election

ci_voterguiderighttoknowEvery member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives who voted for or against stripping states of the ability to require the labeling of genetically engineered food (“The Dark Act”) has received a grade on their votes on issues concerning transparency and the labeling of GMO food ingredients. The scorecard was prepared by The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based farm policy research group watchdogging government and industry on matters impacting organic food and agriculture.

“Public polling continues to indicate that consumers are very interested in the ‘right-to-know’ what is in their food and want transparency in the use of GMO food ingredients,” said Jason Cole, a researcher for Cornucopia who gathered and analyzed the voting data. “We think voters will also be interested in digesting how their elected officials graded out on these issues as they prepare to cast their ballots next week on November 6.” Read Full Article »

Follow the National Organic Standards Board Meeting in St. Paul, MN #NOSB

October 24th, 2018

Join The Cornucopia Institute as we keep you informed via live tweet and web updates from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in St. Paul, MN October 24-26.

We will be sharing the play by play both below and with our Twitter followers, at #NOSB or by simply following our stream.

For background on issues up for discussion at the meeting, see:

Friday, October 27, 2018

5:21 PM CT: Behar adjourns the fall 2018 NOSB meeting.

The next meeting of the NOSB will be April 24-26, 2019 in Seattle, WA. Check the meeting page for information, agenda, and workplan.

National Organic Standards Board, Fall 2018

Read Full Article »

New Study: Organic Diet Lowers Cancer Risk

October 24th, 2018

Cornucopia’s Take: A new French study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that people who reported eating more organic food were 25% less likely to develop cancer. It is noteworthy that those who ate mostly organic food were 73% less likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma,  the type of cancer suffered by DeWayne Johnson. You may recall that a jury recently found Johnson’s cancer was caused by Roundup, an herbicide commonly used in conventional agriculture.

You Can Cut Your Cancer Risk by Eating Organic, A New Study Says
by Susan Scutti

Source: Natulive Canada

You can protect yourself from cancer by eating organic, a new study suggests. Those who frequently eat organic foods lowered their overall risk of developing cancer, a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine finds. Specifically, those who primarily eat organic foods were more likely to ward off non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer compared to those who rarely or never ate organic foods.

Led by Julia Baudry, an epidemiologist at Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale in France, a team of researchers looked at the diets of 68,946 French adults. More than three-quarters of the volunteers were women, in their mid-40s on average. These volunteers were categorized into four groups depending on how often they reported eating 16 organic products, including fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, ready-to-eat meals, vegetable oils and condiments, dietary supplements and other products.

Follow-up time varied for each participant but lasted slightly more than four and a half years on average, and during that time, the study volunteers developed a total of 1,340 cancers. The most prevalent was breast cancer (459) followed by prostate cancer (180), skin cancer (135), colorectal cancer (99), and non-Hodgkin lymphomas (47).

Read Full Article »

Organic Industry Watchdog Shuffles Leadership, Squares Off with Powerful Lobbyists

October 21st, 2018

[Read Cornucopia’s formal Citizen Petition to the USDA for new regulations to prohibit the use of oil and gas wastewater in organic production.]

Fracking Water, Synthetic Ingredients on Agenda at This Week’s USDA Meetings

On the eve of the biannual meeting of the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), in St. Paul, Minnesota, The Cornucopia Institute has formally submitted a citizen’s petition requesting the USDA ban the use of wastewater from the oil and gas industry in organic crop production.

Cornucopia, a farm policy research group based in Wisconsin, is requesting that the NOSB prohibit the practice as water that has been used in fracking and other energy production has been found to be contaminated with hydrocarbons, other toxic and carcinogenic chemicals like benzene, and heavy metals.

“Organic regulations already prohibit using sewage sludge because of contamination with toxins and heavy metals,” said Mark A. Kastel, Cornucopia’s executive director. “A loophole has existed whereas potentially contaminated wastewater from sewage treatment plants is being used to irrigate land in drought prone areas like California, as is processed fracking water.  Both should be banned on an immediate basis.”

The NOSB is a 15-member expert advisory panel set up by Congress to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on the implementation of the Organic Foods Production Act.  It also oversees the use of any synthetic or non-organic materials allowed for use in organic farming or food processing.

In addition to submitting their wastewater petition, Cornucopia policy staff are commenting on three non-organic materials designed as antimicrobial processing aids (such as washing produce after harvest) and to fumigate soil: silver dihydrogen citrate (an antimicrobial), allyl isothiocyanate, and natamycin (an antifungal drug). Read Full Article »

Fall 2018 NOSB Meeting – Webinar: Thursday, October 18, 2018

October 19th, 2018

Cornucopia staff members attended the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) pre-meeting webinar today, where the NOSB heard comments from the public. Cornucopia’s notes from this meeting are below.

You can also view our notes from the Tuesday webinar.

Ten of 15 NOSB members present at the beginning of the call:

Source: Hideya Hamano

Ashley Swaffar
Jesse Buie 
Emily Oakley
Steve Ela
Harriet Behar
Asa Bradman
Tom Chapman
Eric Schwartz
Lisa de Lima 
Scott Rice

Two board members joined after the first commenter:

Dave Mortensen
A-dae Romero-Briones 

Not present:

James R. “Rick” Greenwood
Dan Seitz
Sue Baird 

Michelle from NOP gives some housekeeping comments. Transcripts will be available a couple weeks after the meeting concludes.
Paul Lewis officially opens the meeting. This will be Tom Chapman’s last chairing of the webinar; he has been doing it for the last three years.
Tom Chapman (Chair of NOSB) also offers some oral comments. Read Full Article »

The Cornucopia Institute
P.O. Box 126 Cornucopia, Wisconsin 54827
Ph: 608-625-2000