State of Science :: Pesticides
The Organic Center's "Dietary Risk Index" -- Tracking Relative Pesticide Risks in Foods and Beverages
The Center has developed a tool to track pesticide risk levels associated with residues in food. The "Dietary Risk Index" (DRI) relies on pesticide residue data from the USDA, coupled with EPA's evaluations of pesticide toxicity.
TOC Comments on NOP Pesticide Residue Testing Rule
Comments submitted to the NOP by TOC Chief Scientist Chuck Benbrook on the proposed NOP pesticide residue testing rule.
Pesticide Use by Washington State Potato Growers, 2005
Washington State potato production remains remarkably pesticide intensive, based on the latest data from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.
"Reducing Pesticides in Your Diet"
Two-page summary of the March 2009 TOC report "Simplifying the Pesticide Risk Equation: The Organic Option."
"Poisoned": Transcript from "60 Minutes -- Australia"
Transcript of a chilling piece broadcast by "60 Minutes -- Australia" on the health and environmental impacts of endosulfan and carbendazim.
"Is organically grown food safer or more nutritious?" -- Chicago Tribune, March 23, 2010
Julie Deardorff, staff health writer for the Chicago Tribune, summarizes the costs and benefits of organic food by major food group.
"Exposition Paths of Neonicotinoids"
A German scientist summarizes recent findings showing that bees are exposed to nicotinyls through drops of moisture emitted by plants.
"Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use: The First Thirteen Years"
Analysis of the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) corn, soybeans, and cotton on pesticide use in the U.S. over the first 13 years of commercial use in the United States, 1996-2008. The role of resistant weeds in driving up herbicide use is highlighted.
"The Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use: The First Nine Years"
Second in a series of reports estimating the impacts of genetically engineered corn, soybeans, and cotton on overall pesticide use in the United States. This report covers the first nine years of commercial planting of GE crops -- 1996 through 2004.
Originally released as Ag BioTech InfoNet Technical Paper Number 7, in October, 2004.
"War on Bugs" Workshop Presentation at EcoFarm 2009
Presentation by Chuck Benbrook at the 2009 EcoFarm meeting on the trend toward systemic pesticide technologies.
Rachel Carson Memorial Lecture -- "Prevention, Not Profit, Should Drive Pest Management"
The Organic Center's Chief Scientist gave the 2008 Rachel Carson Memorial Lecture in London, U.K. on December 4th. This annual lecture is sponsored by the U.K. branch of the Pesticide Action Network.
"Pesticides in Food: Flying Blind"
Chuck Benbrook's cover story in the September 2008 issue of "Sound Consumer," the newsletter of the PCC Natural Markets Inc. in Seattle, Washington, discusses the consequences of the Bush Administration's decision to allow the USDA's pesticide use data program to die on the vine.
"Simplifying the Pesticide Risk Equation: The Organic Option"
The potential to reduce pesticide dietary risks through organic food and farming is quantified through analysis of USDA residue data and EPA pesticide risk assessment methods.
"Too Much Fuss About Pesticides?"
In 1989 Consumer Reports magazine published a lengthy and highly critical review of the assertion from Bruce Ames and colleagues at the University of California-Berkeley that natural carcinogens posed far greater risks than made-made chemicals, including pesticides. The article triggered a now-classic exchange of letters, made available for the first time on the Internet by The Organic Center.
Pesticide Exposures Increase Risk of Gestational Diabetes
Occupational exposure to pesticides during the first trimester of pregnancy more than doubles the risk of gestational diabetes.
Children of Farmworkers in North Carolina Heavily Exposed to Pesticides
A significant portion of the children of Latino farmworkers in North Carolina are exposed to a half-dozen or more pesticides in any given week, and almost none are exposure free.
Scientists Estimate That Pesticides are Reducing Legume Crop Yields by ONE-THIRD Through Impaired Nitrogen Fixation
The impacts of pesticides on nitrogen fixation by Rhizobia bacteria is much greater than previously thought. An important new study links this impairment of signalling processes within plants, and between plants and soil bacteria, to pesticides and other soil contaminants.
Society for Nutrition Education Presentation
A wide-ranging presentation of new science supporting the benefits of organic food and farming was well received at the annual meeting of the Society for Nutrition Education.
2007 EcoFarm Pesticides Workshop
Overview of new information on pesticide use and risks presented during a pesticide workshop at the 2007 EcoFarm conference in Monterey, California.
Common Insecticide Causes Significant Neurological Deficits in Children
Prenatal exposures to a common insecticide are shown to cause developmental deficits in three-year old children.
Update on Chlorpyrifos Use, Exposures, and Risk
Recent data from the USDA show continued, substantial farm use and dietary exposures to chlorpyrifos.
FAQs on Pesticides in Milk
Recent USDA data is raising new questions about pesticide residues in milk. The Center covers the bases in this set of "Frequently Asked Questions."
Pesticide Use and Risk Bibliography
Detailed bibliography on pesticide use, exposures, toxicity, and impacts.
Two Perspectives on the Impacts of the FQPA on Pesticide Dietary Risks
Two well-known publications provide an overview of the impacts of the Food Quality Protection Act, addressing the same issues and reaching similar conclusions to those in a recent report by the Center.
Key Insecticides Disrupt Brain Development at Very Low Doses
Some pesticides can disrupt the development of the brain and nervous system at extremely low doses. A new study provides key insights into how and why.
"Successes and Lost Opportunities to Reduce Children's Exposure to Pesticides Since the Mid-1990s," Critical Issue Report 2006.1
How significantly have regulation, the discovery of new pesticides, Integrated Pest Management, and ecolabel programs, including certified organic, reduced children's pesticide risks since passage of the Food Quality Protection Act in 1996? This "Critical Issue Report" presents both the good news and the bad.
Consumer Summary of Pesticide SSR
Consumer friendly, two-page summary of the Organic Center's work comparing pesticide residues in organic and conventional foods.
2006 AAAS Annual Meeting Pesticide Symposium -- Part III
Part III of papers and materials presented at the 2006 AAAS annual meeting symposium on pesticides and children's risks.
Symposium on Children's Pesticide Risks at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the AAAS
Papers and Powerpoint presentations delivered at a symposium sponsored by The Organic Center at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Posted in three parts.
2006 AAAS Annual Meeting Pesticide Symposium -- Part I
Organic Center sponsored symposium "Opportunities and Initiatives to Minimize Children's Exposures to Pesticides" held at the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS)annual meeting.
Part I: Presentations by Dr. Alan Greene
Dr. Charles Benbrook
2006 AAAS Annual Meeting Pesticide Symposium -- Part II
Dr. Alex Lu "Environmental Health Perspectives" article and Powerpoint presentation delivered at the Organic Center organized symposium at the 2006 annual meeting of the AAAS.
A Predominantly Organic Diet Virtually Eliminates Children's Exposures to Two Common Insecticides
A landmark study confirms that serving children organic food can virtually eliminate exposure to two insecticides known to disrupt neurological development.
Minimizing Pesticide Dietary Exposure Through the Consumption of Organic Food
Choosing organically grown fruits and vegetables can significantly decrease the frequency and level of dietary exposure to pesticides, thus reducing the magnitude of one risk factor that can contribute to a variety of health problems.