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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

Tyrone Hayes, groundbreaking biologist and activist, to keynote The Organic Center’s annual benefit

Jan 28, 2020

Trailblazing biologist and activist Tyrone Hayes will be the keynote speaker at The Organic Center’s 17th Annual Benefit Dinner in Anaheim on March 4. Dr. Hayes, a professor of Integrative Biology at University of California, Berkeley, is known for his groundbreaking work on the impacts of the herbicide atrazine on amphibians, and his advocacy for transparency about… Read More ›

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Organic apple production uses less energy, emits fewer greenhouse gases and is more profitable than conventional production

Jan 27, 2020

Evidence continues to stack up to show that organic crop production is more energy efficient and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. A study published in the journal Erwerbs-Obstbau (Acquisition Arboriculture) not only confirms that organic crop production can help mitigate climate change, but that it can also be better for the farmer’s pocketbook. Researchers compared energy… Read More ›

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Organic shade-grown coffee supports bird communities better than conventional monoculture coffee plantations

Jan 20, 2020

A growing body of scientific evidence continues to show that planting a diverse range of crops (polyculture) and incorporating natural habitat into farmscapes support important biodiversity. This is also true for tropical cropping systems including shade-grown coffee, where biodiversity of particular interest includes birds and large cats like jaguars. A recent study published in the… Read More ›

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Organic cacao production improves soil microbiome

Jan 13, 2020

Healthy soils have greater diversity of bacteria and fungi. Much like human gut health, greater diversity of microbes results in more efficient and complete nutrient uptake. For crop plants, better nutrient uptake increases their health and results in higher yields. An added bonus of healthy soils is that they can hold more water and reduce… Read More ›

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Farmers experience tension between wildlife conservation and food safety risk management

Dec 16, 2019

In an effort to ensure food is free from harmful pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses, food safety regulations have become increasingly stringent, especially for fresh produce. A recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems identified that large-scale food safety reforms are causing tension for farmers who believe that while many required practices may… Read More ›

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Grassland and forest insects are affected by surrounding agriculture

Dec 09, 2019

  Recent science shows that we are losing many important insects at an alarming rate all across the globe. Intensification of agriculture, particularly the widespread use of insecticides and herbicides, causes declines in natural populations of important insects. A large-scale study published in Nature confirms that land use is driving major declines of insects in grasslands and… Read More ›

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Neonicotinoids don’t just harm bees, they decrease fish populations, too

Dec 02, 2019

  Neonicotinoids are neurotoxic pesticides commonly used in conventional agriculture since the early 1990s. They are now known to contribute to large die-offs of important pollinators and other beneficial insects. A new study in Science shows the consequences of neonicotinoids reach beyond invertebrates and are causing fish populations to crash. Researchers found that neonicotinoid applications to watersheds… Read More ›

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Netting provides non-chemical control of devastating berry pests

Nov 25, 2019

  Some invasive pests are nearly impossible to control, even with the most powerful chemicals, but netting is proving to be a promising solution for both conventional and organic agriculture. A recent study published in the journal Insects found that fine-mesh netting reduces damage to berry crops from multiple pests all at once, reducing the… Read More ›

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Manure and compost are important for organic production, and farmers need more information to improve their use with produce safety compliance

Nov 18, 2019

A recent study in Frontiers In Sustainable Food Systems found that as many organic farmers rely on manure as a tool to manage soil fertility, they have a strong need for more research to develop feasible strategies to reduce food safety risks associated with their use. Organic practices, particularly the use of untreated manure and… Read More ›

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A global synthesis reveals insect diversity benefits crop production

Nov 11, 2019

  Insects can be really important and beneficial to crop production when they provide services such as pollination and help control other pest insects. A recent study published in Science Advances shows that crop yield improves when the abundance and diversity of insects increase. Using data from 89 studies conducted on 1,475 field sites across… Read More ›

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