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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

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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Farmer participation in breeding programs helps select locally adapted cultivars

Oct 14, 2015

Plant breeding programs have traditionally been developed in response to the needs of large-scale industrial agriculture with a focus on yield improvement, the ability to stand up to storage and transport, and appearance. However, organic growers deal with unique sets of challenges due to the fundamental differences in the organic agricultural system. As a result, […]

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Organic crop farming results in less nitrogen loss than conventional crop farming

Oct 09, 2015

A recent study published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment has found that organic cropping systems have less nitrogen pollution than conventional cropping systems. Nitrogen pollution occurs in agricultural systems when excess nitrates contaminate groundwater or when the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide is released into the air after fertilizer applications. To determine the extent of nitrogen […]

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Three neonicotinoids pose a ‘high risk’ to bee populations

Oct 05, 2015

In a recent report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the neonicotinoids clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam were deemed to pose a high risk to bees when applied as foliar sprays. In a statement, EFSA said, “The protection of bees and the protection of pollinators are one of the essential elements that we consider in […]

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Pesticide exposure and childhood leukemia

Sep 30, 2015

A new study published in the journal International Journal of Cancer has found that increased exposure to pesticides before conception, during pregnancy and after birth increases the risk of childhood leukemia. Childhood leukemia has been recognized as one of the most common childhood malignancies and typically occurs in children 5 years and younger. The study […]

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Pesticide use and risk of shortening telomeres

Sep 25, 2015

A study published in PLOS ONE has found a negative association between occupational pesticide exposure and relative telomere length (RTL). Telomeres are long, repetitive DNA sequences found at the end of chromosomes that protect our DNA from damage. Researchers conducted this study over a ten-year period with 568 cancer-free males ranging from age 31 to […]

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Low levels of glyphosate affect honeybees

Sep 23, 2015

A study published in Experimental Journal of Biology suggests that exposure to low levels of the herbicide glyphosate—the active ingredient in Roundup™—may negatively affect honeybees. Researchers fed honeybees sugar water with one of three low concentrations of glyphosate, all considered to be below the lethal level, and then tracked their flight path home through an […]

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Clearing habitat near farms does not reduce pathogen crop contamination

Sep 18, 2015

A new study published by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the practice of removing surrounding habitat from farms does not reduce crop contamination from disease causing pathogens such as E. coli. Previous pathogen contaminations were assumed to occur when wild […]

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