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

Antibiotic use linked to dangerous antibacterial-resistant bacterium

Aug 29, 2013

Researchers at The Roslin Institute at The University of Edinburgh recently found that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) originated in cattle. The study, which was published in mBio, reported that the jump from livestock to human hosts occurred over 40 years ago, likely through direct contact with livestock workers. This is one of the first studies [...]

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Roundup Ready crops may be creating super-weeds

Aug 26, 2013

A recent study published in New Phytologist found that glyphosate-resistant crops that cross with closely related wild weeds could confer a fitness advantage to these weeds, even in areas where glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) is not being used. Researchers crossed glyphosate-resistant rice with their weedy relatives to examine the performance of the hybrids [...]

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The importance of monitoring harm of GMOs on butterfly populations

Aug 24, 2013

Researchers in Europe have published a new study explaining the importance of and detailing the methods for how to monitor adverse effects on butterflies and moths from genetically modified (GM) crops. Butterflies and moths were the first biological indicators considered for GM crop monitoring because their populations are sensitive to many environmental changes. Over the [...]

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Farm fertilizer runoff contributing to Dead Zone

Aug 22, 2013

Excess nitrogen is impacting Mississippi River and worsening the Gulf of Mexico’s Dead Zone, according to researchers studying the watershed of the Cedar and Iowa rivers. These scientists have found record levels of nitrogen in the watershed, driven by a combination of drought from last year and high rainfalls from this spring. Nitrogen is making [...]

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German study examines antibiotic use levels in livestock

Aug 20, 2013

A current project out of Germany called VetCAb (Veterinary Consumption of Antibiotics) is examining the total amount of antibiotics used in livestock farming. The study hopes to not only quantify current use of antibiotics, but also to provide suggestions on ways to decrease their use in livestock farming because it can lead to resistance in [...]

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Intensive land use decreases soil biodiversity

Aug 19, 2013

A new study published in the journal PNAS shows that intensive land use can reduce the biodiversity of soil organisms and have a negative impact on nitrogen and carbon cycling. The European team of researchers conducting the study examined soil life to assess its role in nutrient cycles in agricultural soils. The study showed a [...]

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Synthetic fertilizer use contributes to manatee, dolphin, and pelican deaths

Aug 17, 2013

Synthetic fertilizer running off into the Indian River estuary may have contributed to disrupting the balance of its rich marine ecosystem. Recent nitrogen spikes in the water have caused large algal blooms, which blanket the estuary and kill the underwater sea grass fields that are the main food source and habitat for the estuary fauna. [...]

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Honeybee population decline effects on crops

Aug 16, 2013

The mass deaths of bees associated with colony collapse disorder (CCD) may prove disastrous for farmers. This pollinator population decline has been accelerating in recent years, leaving many farmers who raise crops dependent on bees—such as apples, oranges, almonds, cherries, blueberries, avocados, cucumbers, and pumpkins–struggling. The honeybee disappearance appears to be primarily due to pesticides. [...]

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Converting to organic agriculture can improve farmer livelihoods

Aug 15, 2013

In a study published in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, researchers examined 31 documented cases of farmers converting from conventional systems to organic and resource-conserving agriculture to examine the impact this conversion had on their livelihoods. The study found yields improved in 76 percent of observed cases, food security improved in 87.5 percent of [...]

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Presence of toxic insecticide in California air samples

Aug 14, 2013

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) recently published an air monitoring paper reporting that air tests have detected chlorpyrifos in 30 percent of communities surrounded by intensive agriculture. Chlorpyrifos are often organophosphates used as insecticides on many crops, such as corn, cotton, almonds, oranges, and apples. Exposure to chlorpyrifos has been associated with human toxicity, [...]

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