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Contributing Writers

Mark A. Kastel

Mark A. Kastel

Mark A. Kastel (right) is the Senior Farm Policy Analyst for The Cornucopia Institute. He is also the organization’s Co-director and Co-founder. Mr. Kastel has led organic commodity, on farm investigations, and market analysis for Cornucopia. He is the primary author of two papers for the Institute: “Maintaining the Integrity of Organic Milk” and “Wal-Mart: The Nation’s Largest Grocer Rolls-out Organic Products — Market Expansion or Market Delusion?” Mr. Kastel is a well-received speaker at food and farming conferences around the country discussing organic integrity and the rise of factory-farms and corporate power in organics. Mr. Kastel has led the organization’s organic dairy campaign and investigations in organic farming practices. For almost 20 years prior to launching Cornucopia, he was president of M. A. Kastel and Associates, Inc. with a professional practice focus of political consulting, lobbying work on behalf of family farm groups, and business development work benefiting family-scale farmers.

Will Fantle is the Research and Development Director for The Cornucopia Institute. He is also the organization’s Co-director and Co-founder. Mr. Fantle has coordinated the group’s legal filings with the USDA concerning potential violations of organic rules and he has overseen the development and distribution of public information materials to other groups and organizations involved in the organic sector. He manages Cornucopia’s web page and has been Cornucopia’s lead staff member on raw almond and food safety issues. Mr. Fantle’s previous professional experience includes work in the private and non-profit sectors with renewable energy technologies and recycling, and regular feature writing on environmental, resource, food, and health issues.

Articles Written by Mark A. Kastel

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Critic of Organic Agriculture Lacks Credibility

Opinion

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Recently, Mr. Mischa Popoff wrote an op-ed for Food Safety News critical of the organic movement. Popoff is a former Canadian organic certification inspection contractor, the author of a self-published book critical of organics, and a commentator affiliated with ultra-conservative think tanks in the U.S. that are funded by agrochemical interests. The article below, entitled, “Who is Mischa Popoff?,”… Continue Reading

Organic vs. Conventional: Pundits Are Welcome to Their Own Opinion, But Not Their Own Facts

Opinion

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Because Food Safety News holds an important perspective in the industry, I was surprised to see the website publish a commentary by Mr. Mischa Popoff. Mr. Popoff has spent the last few years promoting his self-published book, Is It Organic.  He has made irresponsible and unsupported claims that 80 percent of all organic food in… Continue Reading

The Food Safety Shell Game

Opinion

What isn’t being discussed in Congress, during the ongoing debate on the broken federal food safety system, is the root cause of the most serious pathogenic outbreaks in our food–the elephant (poop) in the room. The relatively new phenomena of nationwide pathogenic outbreaks, be they from Salmonella or E. coli variants, are intimately tied to the… Continue Reading