Latest Updates from The Organic Center 

Exciting Summit for Organic Stakeholders
Don’t miss The Organic Center’s first Organic Confluences Summit, to be held Monday, May 23, at the Hall of the States in Washington, D.C., as part of Organic Week in D.C. This summit aims to bring together organic stakeholders to turn evidence-based research on the environmental benefits of organic agriculture into policy practice. Numerous long- and short-term studies have demonstrated that organic agriculture has an important role to play in improving the health of our planet. This conference will bring together scientific experts, farmers, policymakers and organic stakeholders to review the most up-to-date research on the environmental benefits of organic farming practices and assess the availability and efficiency of public sector programs to encourage the adoption of organic farming techniques. Register today!

Highlights from A Fantastic Evening
The photo gallery from the Organic Center’s 13th Annual Benefit Dinner is live and ready for you to peruse, download, and share your favorite images. You can also relive your favorite moments by watching videos from the program. The Center hosted a record-setting crowd of more than 650 organic visionaries, activists, and business executives, and we’ve captured photographic proof of the delicious organic feast, inspirational and engaging program, and knock-your-socks-off entertainment. Together, we raised over $415,000 to help advance the work of the Center. Thanks again to our guests and our event sponsors. Get the full recap in our press release.

New Organic Center Reports Released
Wondering what projects the Organic Center has been working on? Our 2015 Annual Report gives a complete overview of our science projects, priorities and findings. We have also just released a summary of 2015/16 science supporting organic food and farming. This resource provides brief descriptions of the most groundbreaking organic studies that have come out in the past year, and also includes descriptions of key Organic Center research projects. 

Latest Research Studies and Reports

Childhood exposure to pesticides negatively affects neurodevelopment
A recent article published in the scientific journal Environment International has found that pesticide exposure can lead to neurodevelopmental impairment. Researchers found that children with higher levels of pesticide metabolites in their urine tended to test lower for intelligence and comprehension, and that children living closer to agricultural cropland after birth were more likely to score lower on neurodevelopmental tests. Because these pesticides are not allowed in organic production, you avoid such exposure when you choose organic products. READ MORE

Switch in cosmetics lowers chemical exposure in teens
A new study led by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas has shown that even a short break from using makeup, shampoos and lotions that contain certain kinds of chemicals not allowed in organic can reduce levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals in teens. The results, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, came from a study of 100 Latina teenagers participating in the Health and Environmental Research on Makeup of Salinas Adolescents (HERMOSA) study. Learn more about the research in The Organic Center's interview with study lead author Kim Harley. READ MORE

Organic orchards support more beneficial fungi than conventional orchards
A type of fungi known as arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi is commonly associated with providing fruit trees with such benefits as increased water and mineral uptake. A recent study published in the scientific journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment explored whether management practice—organic or conventional—affected AM fungi in apple orchards. Results suggested that organic management resulted in higher levels of beneficial root colonization by AM fungi than in conventional management, and therefore “promoted functional AM associations more effectively than conventional practices.” READ MORE

Organochlorine exposure may play role in mental impairment
While scientists have established a clear link between a diagnosis of hypertension and high blood pressure during midlife and an increase in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the linkage between hypertension and mental impairment in the elderly is not consistent. To better understand how outside factors may influence these results, a study published in PLOS ONE attempted to factor in the effect that exposure to organochlorine pesticides may be influencing results. Researchers found that when participants were exposed to certain organochlorine pesticides and had hypertension, they were 2.5 – 3.5 times more likely to score lower on cognition tests. Such pesticides are not allowed in organic farming. READ MORE

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