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

Neonicotinoids from treated seeds contaminate Midwestern streams

Oct 08, 2014

  A recent study published in Environmental Pollution found neonicotinoids in Midwestern streams where corn and soybean production is high. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey sampled surface water from streams within Iowa for neonicotinoid contamination. Streams were tested for imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. All streams tested positive for at least one of the neonicotinoid [...]

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Systematic neonicotinoid use decreases ecosystem services

Oct 07, 2014

  A recent review article published in Environmental Science Pollution Research seeks to understand how the widespread use of neonicotinoids affects ecosystems and the services that those ecosystems provide to human beings. Ecosystem services, defined as “the benefits that people obtain from natural systems,” can include services as pollination, pest regulation, water purification, and nutrient [...]

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Alternative pesticides also pose risk to the Great Barrier Reef

Oct 04, 2014

  The coral that makes up the Great Barrier Reef has been on the decline for decades due to a number of causes including sediment, fertilizer, and pesticide runoff. Commonly used herbicides, known as PSII herbicides, have been identified as particularly harmful to the reef. As a result, their use has been regulated in Australia [...]

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Bumblebee foraging behavior deteriorates with pesticide exposure

Oct 03, 2014

  A recent study published in Functional Ecology found that when honey bees were exposed to sub-lethal levels of neonicotinoid and pyrethroid insecticides, commonly used in conventional farming systems, their foraging behavior became impaired. In order to test how a single exposure as well as long-term exposure affected the bees, researchers at Royal Holloway University [...]

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Common flame retardants found in mothers and children

Oct 01, 2014

A recent study published by researchers at Duke University and the Environmental Working Group in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found evidence of harmful flame retardants in the urine of mothers and their children. The study examined metabolites specifically found in the human body once it has been exposed to and broken down flame [...]

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Long-term study finds organic farming is good for soil organisms

Sep 30, 2014

A recent study published in Agronomy for Sustainable Development found that conservation and organic farming increased the number of soil organisms when compared to conventional farming. Scientists compared conventional agriculture, organic agriculture and conservation agriculture over a period of 14 years. They found that compared to conventional farm systems, the organic and conservation agriculture systems [...]

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Pesticides found in U.S. streams and rivers

Sep 29, 2014

A report just released by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) found pesticides in streams and rivers sampled across the United States between 2002 and 2011. The report presented the results of the most recent monitoring efforts, and compared those results to previous surveys. Most of the waterways near agricultural areas had improved since past [...]

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Organic farming is more energy efficient than conventional farms

Sep 26, 2014

A recent review published in Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems has found that organic farming is more energy efficient than conventional farming for almost all crops when comparing the same amount of farmed area. The authors reviewed 50 studies in order to compare the amount of energy used for different facets of the farming system [...]

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Antibiotic use in poultry production is more common than previously thought

Sep 25, 2014

A special report published last week by Reuters after a review of more than 300 internal documents found that the practice of treating chickens with low doses of antibiotics as part of their daily feed is much more common than regulators had previously thought. The report found that large poultry producers, including Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s [...]

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Hog workers bring home antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Sep 24, 2014

Workers exposed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in an industrial hog operation in North Carolina were found to carry it with them for up to two weeks, according to a recent study in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.  Livestock operations frequently add antibiotics to animal feed and water as a means of increasing growth and preventing [...]

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