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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

Alternative flame retardant increases fat cells and decreases bone cells

Dec 11, 2014

  The flame retardants known as pentaBDEs were phased out in 2004 due to health concerns that created a market for new alternatives. Firemaster*500 has largely filled this gap. However, recent research has suggested that exposure to the flame retardant is linked to a variety of problems in rats including increased anxiety, obesity and early […]

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Yield gap between organic and conventional farming lower than previously thought

Dec 10, 2014

  A new study published in the Journal Proceedings of the Royal Society Biology has found that the yields of organic crops are higher than previously thought, particularly when organic farmers use environmentally friendly farming techniques. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, carried out the largest meta-analysis comparison of organic and conventional crop yields […]

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Bt pesticide resistance in the Armyworm

Dec 09, 2014

  Genetically modified corn containing Bt has been used successfully in the United States for the last 18 years to fend off the migratory armyworm, a destructive pest. Now, a study published in the scientific journal PLOS One has found that populations of armyworms in North Carolina and Florida are resistant to the Cry1F protein […]

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Pesticide exposure linked to Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Dec 04, 2014

The Agricultural Health Study investigated the relationship between specific fungicides and pesticides and the development of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) in pesticide applicators, primarily farmers, from North Carolina and Iowa. In a recent article published in PLOS One, health information was analyzed from 54,306 participants enrolled in the study, including 523 applicators who were diagnosed with […]

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria transmission between humans and livestock

Dec 02, 2014

    A recent study in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology found that antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (which can cause what are commonly referred to as Staph infections) have been transferred from livestock to humans, and that these strains may persist in the hospital environment. Researchers analyzed whole genome sequences of […]

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Organic farms provide more food sources for young songbirds

Nov 10, 2014

  Intensive conventional agricultural practices have been linked to a decline in insects that are a particularly important source of food for young songbirds. In a study published in the Journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, researchers tested whether organic farms provided more food for fledgling song birds than conventional farms. After surveying insect populations in […]

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Pollinators increase with landscape diversity on organic farms

Nov 07, 2014

  In a recent study published in Agriculture Ecosystems and the Environment, scientists found that pollinator services to crops on organic farms increased when habitat heterogeneity was increased, but this same trend was not seen on conventionally farmed land. Researchers compared pod development in beans on conventional farms and organic farms surrounded by varying amounts […]

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Urban farming is better for soils than conventional agriculture

Nov 06, 2014

  A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology has found that small-scale urban farming can significantly contribute to global food security because it does not deplete soil quality like conventional agricultural farming does. Researchers in the United Kingdom compared different indicators of healthy soils including soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, the carbon/nitrogen […]

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Neonicotinoid-coated soybean seeds provide little benefit

Nov 05, 2014

  Mounting scientific literature regarding neonicotinoid pesticides is finding they contaminate our rivers and streams, and likely play an important role in causing colony collapse disorder. One of the primary ways these pesticides enter the environment is through genetically modified soybean seeds that are coated with the pesticide prior to planting. Now, a new peer-reviewed […]

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Low-level exposure to neonicotinoids weakens bees’ motor skills

Nov 04, 2014

  A recent study published in the journal Ecotoxicologyhas found that prolonged exposure to sub-lethal levels of neonicotinoid pesticides negatively affects motor skills in worker bees. Researchers fed bees four different neonicotinoid pesticides at low levels similar to what they would be exposed to if foraging on pesticide-treated crops. They then analyzed how specific behaviors […]

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