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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Contaminated Argentine wetland poses threat to humans and migrating birds

Oct 21, 2014

  A recent study published in Science of the Total Environment found high levels of toxic chemical contamination in Argentina’s Mar Chiquita wetland. Organochlorine pesticides (OP), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDE) are toxic pollutants originating from intensive agriculture and industry. While these substances are banned across most countries, they still persistent in [...]

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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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GM crops responsible for decline in monarch butterflies

Sep 08, 2014

A study published this summer by researchers at the University of Guelph in the Journal of Animal Ecology reports that the use of herbicide-resistant genetically modified (GM) crops are largely responsible for declining monarch butterfly populations. Monarch butterflies rely exclusively on the milkweed plant to lay their eggs and as a food for monarch caterpillars.  [...]

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Redefining healthy food

Sep 05, 2014

A comprehensive report by Health Care Without Harm calls for a reconsideration of how we define healthy food. According to the report, the classic definition of healthy food, based on components including the number of calories, fat, and vitamins, must be expanded to include social, economic and environmental factors. Many food production methods overuse chemicals [...]

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Reduced use of synthetic fertilizer will be critical for reducing dead zones

Aug 13, 2014

A new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience found that the Mississippi River is inundated by the amount of nitrogen runoff from farms, resulting in large-scale marine life die-offs, or dead zones, in the Gulf of Mexico.  Last year this dead zone clocked in at 5,840 square miles, larger than the state of Connecticut.  [...]

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Neonicotinoids polluting rivers

Jul 29, 2014

A recent study by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has found that neonicotinoids are polluting streams throughout the Midwest. Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides used as insecticides throughout the United States. Although they dissolve readily in water, they are slow to break down in the environment, resulting in a high risk of runoff [...]

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Response to Op-Ed: “Five myths about organic food”

Jun 24, 2014

Peter Laufer’s “Five myths about organic food” published in the June 23 Washington Post ignores many important details about organic that support the very claims he is trying to refute.  Even a cursory investigation of the research and regulations supporting organic reinforce the benefits of organic agriculture. 1. If a product is labeled organic, it [...]

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Prenatal exposure to pesticide may increase risk of autism

Jun 24, 2014

A new study published in Evironmental Health Perspectives found that maternal exposure to pesticides can increase the risk of autism in children.  Researchers from The University of California, Davis MIND Institute looked at associations between autism diagnoses and pesticides including organophosphates, pyrethroids and carbamates. They found that the risk of having a child with autism [...]

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Higher Pollinator Biodiversity in Organic Farms

Jun 10, 2014

Several studies have shown that organic farming is beneficial for bees, but a recent study published in Animal Conservation takes a new perspective on ways that organic farming contributes to pollinator health. The study looked at the interaction between plants and pollinators, to see if insect-flower interactions were higher on organic farms. Specifically, they looked [...]

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