Organic TV

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

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  • 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

Return of long-absent bumblebee near Seattle stirs scientific buzz

Jul 27, 2013

The long-absent western bumblebee, known to scientists as Bombus occidentalis, has been sighted in Washington state. This native bumblebee species, valued as a key pollinator for tomatoes and cranberries, experienced a dramatic population crash, all but vanishing from nearly all of its natural range. Last year, however, a single western bumblebee was discovered for the [...]

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Frogs Living in Remote Areas Still Exposed to Toxic Pesticides

Jul 26, 2013

In a study published on July 26 in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, researchers show that Pacific chorus frogs are being exposed to toxic pesticides even in remote areas many miles from conventional farmland. Testing frogs, water, and sediment from seven locations downwind of agricultural areas, researchers found traces of pesticides in frog tissues at every [...]

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Organophosphates Blamed for Death of Children

Jul 25, 2013

Organophosphates, the pesticides blamed for killing at least 25 children in India, are widely used around the world. This is not the first instance of organophosphate-related deaths. In 1986, for example, they caused a death toll of over 20 people, when bread was made from tainted flour. While we currently understand the dangers associated with [...]

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Non-chemical Control of Weeds Successful

Jul 23, 2013

A new study published in Weed Technology shows that non-chemical controls of weeds can be more effective than herbicides. The study focuses on the weed Palmer amaranth, which has become a major threat to soybean growth in the southern United States. In this study, 250,000 glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth seeds were incorporated into the soil, and [...]

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Organic production of citrus is more sustainable and cost effective

Jul 22, 2013

A study out of Sicily analyzing the sustainability of organic versus conventional orange and lemon orchards found that organic management has better environmental and energy performance than their conventional counterparts. Researchers used a lifecycle assessment to examine the production cycle over 50 years, focusing on energy use, environmental impacts, and economic analyses. In addition to [...]

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Herbicide exposure linked to depression in agricultural workers

Jul 19, 2013

Herbicides may be associated with depression, according to a new study examining agricultural workers in France. While there has been a large amount of research focusing on health consequences of organophosphate exposures, few studies examine the effects of other pesticides. This research focusing on potential links between herbicide use and mental illness found that 14.6 [...]

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Another Super-weed with Pesticide Resistance

Jul 18, 2013

Weeds are continuing to evolve to become resistant to pesticides commonly used in conventional agriculture. Scientists are searching for ways to control these “superweeds,” which are devastating conventional farms reliant on chemical weed control and invading new habitats. Barnyardgrass is one of the many weeds to recently evolve to a more invasive, problematic form. Originally [...]

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Workers at Conventional Livestock Operations may be at Risk for Exposure to Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

Jul 18, 2013

A recent study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found antibiotic-resistant bacteria associated with industrial livestock workers, but not antibiotic-free livestock workers.  These findings confirm earlier research on the presence of antibiotic resistant bacterial strains, and raise continued concerns about the use of antibiotics in livestock production. The study was [...]

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Pesticide Exposure leads to Genetic Damage in Soybean Workers

Jul 15, 2013

In a recent study researchers examined soybean workers in Brazil to determine the effects of repeated exposure to pesticides.  The lead researcher, Dr. Benedetti, chose the study area of Rio Grande do Sul, because Brazillian soybean workers are increasingly exposed to pesticide combinations.  The researchers found that exposure to these fungicide, herbicide, and insecticide cocktails [...]

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Levels of Allowed Glyphosate Residues in Food Increase

Jul 05, 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has raised the permitted tolerance levels of glyphosate residue in many fruits and vegetables. The new regulation raises limits on levels of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, in oilseed crops, which include sesame, flax, and soybean, sweet potatoes, carrots, and several other agricultural products, including animal feed, root crops [...]

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