THE MORNING SHOW
Linley Dixon, Ph.D
Farm and Food Policy Analyst; and Lead Scientist for The Cornucopia Institute
Top 10 USDA Organic Crimes
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.
Linley Dixon owns a vegetable farm (marketing through a CSA, farm to school, and at farmers markets) in Durango, Colorado, with her husband Peter and 4-year-old daughter Raina. Prior to farming, she spent 15 years studying the impact of farm diversity on plant disease levels. Collecting and studying plant diseases on varied farms throughout the world has provided perspective on the various inputs required given different production practices.
Linley holds a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Florida and a Master’s in Plant and Soil Science through West Virginia University’s Organic Farm Project. In addition, she held a 2-year post-doctorate with the USDA’s Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory where she used DNA sequencing and cloning techniques to identify fungal plant pathogens from around the world. Linley is actively involved in supporting the local farm movement in Durango and in her spare time enjoys pruning tomatoes to one main stem.
-NOP – National Organic Program – is program to oversee organic standards. Big producers have moved into organics; this has resulted in different interpretations of the law. Cornucopia makes scorecards to inform the consumer of what is truly organic.
-Non-GMO label is not a better alternative. Organic label provides more protection – against chemicals, production practices, and GMOs.
-Organic law requires pasture for dairy during the growing season, which is a minimum of 120 days. Larger operations are keeping high producing cows inside all the time, with 3-4 milkings a day. Can make it look legal on paper by having other cows on pasture all the time. Farmers moving all their cows in from pasture can only milk twice a day. Cornucopia scorecard differentiates these producers.
-Current concern of fracking water being recycled into irrigation water.
-Can’t feed GMO grain under organic standards. But can apply manure from GMO-fed cattle onto soil and still be considered organic. Danger of persistent chemicals in the soil.
-Concerns about industry practices of 1) extraction of soybean oil with benzene solvents 2) Carageenan added to provide texture consistency. Both practices violate organic standards and are elements of the Cornucopia scorecard ratings.
-Need to eliminate GMOs on a regional basis to eliminate GMO drift onto organic crops.
-Improper grass-fed beef is a concern. Cornucopia has limited resources to investigate consumer complaints.
-Consumers can ask Cornucopia to rate a specific product.
linley dixon and the state of organic standards and gmo’s today, january 5, 2017