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Green living expert, author, and TV personality, Sara Snow, explains the USDA organic seal and why "natural" is not organic.

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  • Did You Know?
    Three new studies confirm that exposures to common insecticides during pregnancy can cut a child’s IQ 4% to 7%  by age 9.
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Hot Science

Organic farming supports habitat specialist mammals

Nov 20, 2015

Mammals play an important role in agricultural systems, yet very few studies have examined the influence that organic and conventional farming systems have on small mammal richness and diversity. Now, a study published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment has found that the abundance of small mammals that are habitat specialists is greater on organic farms […]

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An organic researcher perspective on organic check-off funds

Nov 18, 2015

Organic agriculture research has traditionally been underfunded leaving organic farmers with very few tools to address agronomic challenges compared to their conventional counterparts. A recently published article written by Drs. Kathleen Delate and Jessica Shade delve into how an organic check-off funds have the potential to play an important role in increasing research that will […]

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DDT and PCB exposure can lead to sperm abnormalities

Nov 16, 2015

Researchers from George Washington University have found that men exposed to dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE)—a byproduct created when DDT is broken down—and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) pollutants during adolescence have more abnormal chromosomes in their sperm than men who were not exposed. Ninety men from the Faroe Islands donated blood serum and semen samples for the study. Forty […]

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Study shows lack of public funding for sustainable agriculture research

Nov 13, 2015

A new report published in the journal Environmental Science & Policy looked into the amount of funding that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has put towards supporting sustainable agroecological farming, including organic. Its authors found that only 15% of the major external research and education grants awarded by USDA incorporate any element of agroecological […]

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Organic management improves soil and yields

Nov 02, 2015

A new study published in the journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems has found that farms under organic soil management systems can produce yields equivalent to conventional management systems and those organic methods that incorporate residues into the soil improve the soil nutrients and reduce weeds. Researchers examined the use of crop residues in a […]

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Letter to the Editor at The New York Times

Nov 02, 2015

A letter to the editor was recently published in the International Edition of The New York Times, written by The Organic Center’s Director of Science Programs Dr. Jessica Shade. The letter references a recently published article, “A Dangerous Cycle in Food Production” by Beth Gardiner, noting that while the author accurately addresses the threats that […]

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Organic farming can simultaneously improve pest control and yield

Oct 28, 2015

A new study published in the journal Landscape Ecology sought to determine how farming type and landscape heterogeneity affect pests and their natural enemies and to understand how these changes influence yields. Researchers compared insect diversity on conventional farms, new organic farms and old organic farms and collected data on the amount of pasture and […]

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Scientific Contributions to a New Book by Frances Moore Lappê and Joseph Collins

Oct 26, 2015

The Organic Center contributed information for the recently published book World Hunger: 10 Myths, written by bestselling authors Frances Moore Lappê and Joseph Collins.  The book argues that sustainable agriculture can feed the world, busting myths such as the claim that we have too little food, that there are too many people, that climate change […]

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Increased biodiversity reduces pest problems on farms

Oct 23, 2015

A new study published in Science Advances has found that farming practices that promote biodiversity also increase natural pest control on farms by increasing the number of beneficial predators that attack crop pests. Researchers compared insect diversity on 53 cornfields in South Dakota. They found that farms that had more insect species that were abundant […]

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Exposure to sub-lethal levels of insecticide alters behavior of jumping spiders

Oct 19, 2015

A new study published in the journal Functional Ecology demonstrates that low-level exposure to organophosphate insecticides can alter the individual behavior of jumping spiders, an important beneficial predator in agricultural systems. Young jumping spiders were collected from orchards and raised in the laboratory. Spiders’ behaviors including hunting ability were quantified before and after exposure to […]

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