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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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  • 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

Pesticide exposure linked to depression in agricultural workers

Oct 15, 2014

  A new epidemiological study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives by researchers from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has found that pesticide exposure is linked to depression in male pesticide applicators. A total of 21,208 private pesticide applicators were surveyed from 1993-1997, and again between 2005 and 2010. After confounding factors [...]

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Neonicotinoids contaminate Canadian wetlands

Oct 14, 2014

  A recent study published in the journal PLOS One found that neonicotinoid pesticides—the dominant insecticide used as a seed treatment on crops including canola and soybeans—are contaminating wetlands in Canada’s Prairie Pothole region. Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan used a combination of spatial distribution modeling and assessments of water and sediment concentrations in [...]

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Neonicotinoid use leads to decline in bird populations

Oct 09, 2014

  Research has demonstrated that exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides is harmful to non-pest insects such as bees. Now, a new study published in the journal Nature demonstrates that the negative effects of these unintended exposures my reach much further up the food chain than scientists previously suspected. Researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands demonstrated [...]

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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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