“Organic” Hydroponic Operations Allowed to Spray Glyphosate on the Soil

With No Soil to Certify, They Can Contaminate the Earth and Sell Faux-ganic Produce to Unsuspecting Consumers “Organic” hydroponic production is a form of factory farming: the ground is leveled, compacted, and often covered with plastic, while plant roots bathe in synthetic nutrients or are supported by sterile substrates like gravel or coconut coir. The … Read more“Organic” Hydroponic Operations Allowed to Spray Glyphosate on the Soil

Cornucopia Change in Leadership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Cornucopia Institute’s Board of Directors would like to thank Mark Kastel for nearly 15 years leading the organization. His foresight, dedication, and guidance have been instrumental in building Cornucopia into the preeminent organic watchdog and champion for family scale organic farming. As one of The Cornucopia Institute’s co-founders, Kastel saw the … Read moreCornucopia Change in Leadership

Virtual Press Conference: Farmers Take Over Organic Certification

  Virtual press conference – farmers take over organic certification. Posted by The Cornucopia Institute on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 To unmute, click on the sound icon in the lower right corner of the video. Cornucopia’s executive director Mark Kastel offered a short presentation and Q&A on The Cornucopia Institute’s newest report analyzing the performance … Read moreVirtual Press Conference: Farmers Take Over Organic Certification

New Report Puts Farmers Back in Charge of Organic Certification

USDA Has “Willfully Failed” on Congressional Mandate to Prevent Fraud When farmers lobbied Congress to pass the Organic Foods Production Act in 1990, their intention was to create a level playing field in the market and to affirm the credibility of organic labeling in the eyes of consumers. Unfortunately, according to a newly released report … Read moreNew Report Puts Farmers Back in Charge of Organic Certification

One Organic Dairy Diversifies to Remain Afloat

Cornucopia’s Take: Creativity and diversification may help some organic dairy farmers keep their doors open. The farm in the story below has been able to take advantage of its proximity to major cities. While urban sprawl has meant the death of many farm operations, it seems to be saving this one. Pinke: A grass-fed organic … Read moreOne Organic Dairy Diversifies to Remain Afloat

Farm Bill Contains Funding Boost for Organic Integrity

Cornucopia’s Take: The article by OFARM’s John Bobbe below was originally published in The Milkweed. Bobbe is a strong ally in stopping the flow of fraudulent organic imports into the U.S. He has recently retired from OFARM, but he assures us he will continue to work on these important issues. 2018 Farm Law Boosts Funds … Read moreFarm Bill Contains Funding Boost for Organic Integrity

The Dairy Crisis Continues to Deepen

Cornucopia’s Take: Wisconsin lost nearly two dairies a day in 2018, most of them family farms. As factory farm “organic” dairies continue to grow their operations, ethical organic farmers continue to lose their footholds as well. Use Cornucopia’s Dairy Scorecard to choose the best milk, cheese, butter, and other dairy products for your loved ones. … Read moreThe Dairy Crisis Continues to Deepen

Faith in Farming

Finding a Way of Life on Windy Acres Farm [This article was previously published in the winter issue of  The Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.] by Jason Cole, Research Associate at The Cornucopia Institute Photo courtesy of Windy Acres Farm What is the meaning and purpose of work? Is it simply a means of making a … Read moreFaith in Farming

Four Cash Crops Take Up Half of Global Farmland

Cornucopia’s Take: Although more kinds of crops are now grown than in the 1970s, almost half of all farmland in the world  currently produces wheat, corn, soy, or rice. Monocultures are notoriously vulnerable to pests, disease, and increasingly wild swings in precipitation and temperature. Biodiversity improves the resilience of the ecosystem as a whole and … Read moreFour Cash Crops Take Up Half of Global Farmland

Real Organic Project Symposium, March 2 at Dartmouth College

Cornucopia’s colleagues at the Real Organic Project are hosting a symposium at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire on March 2. You will hear many passionate speakers from across the fields of farming, policy, science, and activism offer their takeaways and ideas for action regarding the many challenges and opportunities facing organic farmers today. TED-style talks will be … Read moreReal Organic Project Symposium, March 2 at Dartmouth College

Dropping Flies: Over 30% of Insects Now Endangered

Cornucopia’s Take: Insect mass is declining by 2.5% annually. They pollinate plants, recycle waste, and provide food for many species, and humans cannot live without their various ecosystem services. More insects can be observed on organic farms than conventional or GMO farms. Deforestation, pesticide use, and other changes to ecosystems are thought to be major … Read moreDropping Flies: Over 30% of Insects Now Endangered

Organic Farmers Improve Ecosystem Services

Benefiting Communities and the Planet This article was previously published in the winter issue of  The Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.] by Marie Burcham, JD Farm and Food Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute Source: AdobeStock The benefits that a healthy, functioning environment provides for humanity are called ecosystem services. For example, forest ecosystems provide the service … Read moreOrganic Farmers Improve Ecosystem Services

New Research Analysis Finds Glyphosate Linked to Cancer

Cornucopia’s Take: According to a new meta-analysis, people with prolonged or high-level exposure to glyphosate (the active ingredient in Bayer/Monsanto’s Roundup) are 41% more likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The study’s authors focused on the most extreme cases of glyphosate exposure, reasoning that those would be the most likely individuals to develop cancer if glyphosate … Read moreNew Research Analysis Finds Glyphosate Linked to Cancer

Your Pesticide Levels Can Drop Dramatically by Eating All Organic

Cornucopia’s Take: In a new study, 16 children and adults who ate only organic food for six days experienced a 60.5% reduction in the levels of common pesticides in their bodies. Although the sample was very small, the study confirms similar previous research. Criticisms of those previous studies included the small sample size, drawing attention to … Read moreYour Pesticide Levels Can Drop Dramatically by Eating All Organic

China Stacks Hogs to Save Land and Transportation Costs

Cornucopia’s Take: The article below offers surreal imagery of hogs raised in high-rise farms. Hog waste from one such facility will be shunted to on-site waste treatment facilities before being sold to farmers as fertilizer and sprayed on nearby forests. Observers of intensive livestock management worry that the set-up creates a massive disease vector. Seven … Read moreChina Stacks Hogs to Save Land and Transportation Costs

GMO Bt Crops May Not Be as Safe as Advertised

Cornucopia’s Take: Cry toxins are highly active protein toxins originally isolated from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). They are genetically engineered into some GMO crops to perforate the gut membrane of insects that eat them. Poisoned pests stop eating and eventually die. Unfortunately, non-target animals, including monarch butterflies, swallowtail butterflies, lacewings, caddisflies, bees, water fleas, and … Read moreGMO Bt Crops May Not Be as Safe as Advertised

Sewage Sludge on Fields Poisoning Wisconsin Water

Cornucopia’s Take: Sewage sludge contains toxic wastes, including pharmaceuticals, household and industrial chemicals, and heavy metals. Many industrial chemicals, including compounds called PFAS used to make heat-resistant, stain-proof, and nonstick products, are unregulated. Very small amounts of PFAS compounds have serious health implications, and recent testing has revealed dangerous levels in Wisconsin water. More than … Read moreSewage Sludge on Fields Poisoning Wisconsin Water

Judge to Allow Evidence of Monsanto’s Alleged Ghostwriting at Trial

Cornucopia’s Take: Edwin Hardeman, one of over 9,300 plaintiffs charging that Monsanto’s Roundup caused their cancer, has received tentatively good news. The presiding federal judge has allowed evidence pointing to Monsanto’s alleged ghostwriting of scientific research and attempts to influence regulators and scientists regarding Roundup’s safety. The order applies to two more upcoming cases before … Read moreJudge to Allow Evidence of Monsanto’s Alleged Ghostwriting at Trial

Big Ag’s Long Arms in Scientific Research

Cornucopia’s Take: As public funding for university research dwindles, industry research frequently fills the void. This means the questions researchers address are often questions Big Ag would like to see answered. Unfortunately, it also means that research performed by academics who seek to improve the health of people and the environment may find themselves on … Read moreBig Ag’s Long Arms in Scientific Research

Industrial Farming Alone Cannot Feed the World

Cornucopia’s Take: Organic farming plays an important role in sequestering carbon, building soil fertility, conserving water, providing high-nutrient food, and mitigating the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Industrial farms pump out billions of bushels of GMO corn and soy to feed sick livestock in massive CAFOs to flood markets with cheap bacon, hamburger, milk, … Read moreIndustrial Farming Alone Cannot Feed the World

U.S. Continues to Allow Harmful Food Additives Banned in Europe

Cornucopia’s Take: Food processors add “value” to baked goods, cereals, packaged snack foods, and other foods often in part by adding preservatives, flavorings, added vitamins and minerals, and food coloring. Some products containing additives allowed by the FDA in the U.S. have been reformulated without them for sale in Europe. The article below details some … Read moreU.S. Continues to Allow Harmful Food Additives Banned in Europe

USDA Back to Work with the Shutdown Over

Cornucopia’s Take: As spring planting decisions begin for farmers, 62 USDA reports have been delayed by the federal government shutdown. With USDA personnel back in their offices this week, reports will be released, farmer loans can again be originated, and tariff payments will be disbursed. The agency’s WASDE report, a monthly crop report for the … Read moreUSDA Back to Work with the Shutdown Over

2018 E. Coli Outbreaks May Have Been Due to Water Contamination

Cornucopia’s Take: Officials now suspect the bacterial outbreaks last year occurred because a California irrigation canal carried E. coli from a 100,000 head cattle feedlot to the irrigation ponds used to water romaine lettuce. Officials are draining the canal early this season for repairs, testing, and removal of any E. coli-contaminated sediment. Feedlots promote dangerous … Read more2018 E. Coli Outbreaks May Have Been Due to Water Contamination

Trust Through Transparency

Managing Conflicts of Interest in the National Organic Program [This article was previously published, in abbreviated form, in the winter issue of  The Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.] by Anne Ross, JD Farm and Food Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute Source: AdobeStock Many federal and state laws, professional bodies, and associations establish policies that recognize conflicts … Read moreTrust Through Transparency

Known Health Concerns About Glyphosate, the Main Ingredient in Roundup

Cornucopia’s Take: Use of the herbicide glyphosate has skyrocketed around the world since the introduction of crops genetically engineered to be Roundup Ready (resistant) in 1996. While the EPA insists that glyphosate does not cause cancer in humans, some research reviews have come to different findings. U.S. Right to Know seeks transparency in the food … Read moreKnown Health Concerns About Glyphosate, the Main Ingredient in Roundup

Organic Accounts for 14% of Money Spent in the Produce Aisle

Cornucopia’s Take: According to Neilsen data, organic produce sales continue to grow at a much faster pace than conventional produce sales. Neilsen posits that “mindful moms”—those seeking the best and safest food for their children and families—are driving the continued upswing in organic food purchasing. Retail View: Data show that organics still thriving The Produce … Read moreOrganic Accounts for 14% of Money Spent in the Produce Aisle

Farmer Loans On Hold Until the Federal Government Re-Opens

Cornucopia’s Take: Many farmers have lost opportunities or remain uncertain as to how they will get needed loans for the upcoming growing season with USDA FSA offices closed during the shutdown. Secretary Perdue announced that offices will be open January 17, 18, and 22 to producers with existing loans only. Farm Country Stood by Trump. … Read moreFarmer Loans On Hold Until the Federal Government Re-Opens

USDA FSA Offices Open Temporarily During Shutdown on January 17, 18, and 22

Cornucopia’s Take: Producers with existing farm loans who need assistance or 1099s for taxes have three days to get help during the federal government shutdown. Share this story with farmers you know! USDA FSA offices temporarily reopen during government shutdown Feedstuffs.com Offices will be open Jan. 17, 18 and 22 to assist producers with existing … Read moreUSDA FSA Offices Open Temporarily During Shutdown on January 17, 18, and 22

Organic Advocacy Groups File Legal Action to Prohibit Hydroponics from Organic

[Read the rulemaking petition to the USDA.] Healthy Soils are a Legal Requirement of Organic Production Soil-less “Organic” Systems are Misleading to Consumers, Undercut Farmers Today, Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a new legal action demanding the Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibit hydroponic operations from the organic label. Hydroponic production systems—a catch-all term that applies to food production … Read moreOrganic Advocacy Groups File Legal Action to Prohibit Hydroponics from Organic

Restaurants Frequently Misrepresent What’s Organic

USDA Will Enforce–But Consumers are the Frontline Investigators Many consumers who choose organic food for home cooked meals want the same benefits of organic certification when they eat out. Unfortunately, many are being misled or defrauded. Restaurants recognize that local and organic foods are no longer narrow niche markets and that promoting organic food can … Read moreRestaurants Frequently Misrepresent What’s Organic