The Organic Center will recognize environmental health scientist Asa Bradman, Ph.D., with its Award of Excellence at the organization’s annual benefit dinner March 6 in Anaheim, California.
Bradman, who co-founded the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH) at the University of California at Berkeley, helps direct exposure and health studies as part of the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) partnership in the Salinas Valley in California. CHAMACOS is the longest running longitudinal birth cohort study of pesticides and other environmental exposures among children in an agricultural community. CHAMACOS means “small children” in Mexican Spanish, which reflects the population served.
Bradman has co-authored some of the most important work on the impacts of pesticides on the health of pregnant women and children in agricultural communities, with several studies showing links between higher organophosphate pesticide exposure during pregnancy and poorer neurodevelopment in children.
“The Organic Center has developed a community of scientists committed to advancing organic and sustainable agriculture, and there is no one who is more dedicated and working more intensively toward this goal than Dr. Bradman," said Jessica Shade, Ph.D., Director of Scientific Programs for The Organic Center, in announcing the award selection.
Most recently, results from a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Environmental Research showed that switching from a conventional to an organic diet for about a week reduces levels of pesticides in both children and adults. This study tested for a broader range of pesticides than earlier studies, including neonicotinoids. Researchers tested 158 urine samples from four families across the U.S. who consumed a conventional diet for six days, and then an organic diet for the next six days. After the organic diet intervention, there was a significant reduction in 13 of the 14 detected pesticides and pesticide metabolite compounds. This study confirms other studies showing that diet is an important route of exposure for people living outside agricultural communities.
Bradman is renowned in the organic sector. He holds the scientist seat on The Organic Center’s Board of Trustees and is an Environmental Protection and Resource Conservation Representative on the National Organic Standards Board. He also leads an initiative to improve environmental health in California childcare facilities, and was a recipient of the IPM Innovators award from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the Children’s Environmental Health Excellence Award from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. He participates in extensive community outreach and education, and interfaces with other scientists, state and federal agencies, policymakers, and industry. He participates on several advisory bodies and is a past member (2007-2016) and chair of the Scientific Guidance Panel for the California Environmental Biomonitoring Program to which he was originally appointed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“I am honored to receive this award from The Organic Center, which is firmly committed to serving the organic community. Their research, ranging from projects examining fertilizer use and food safety, pollinator health, citrus greening, and soil carbon sequestration, to name just a few, reflect the breadth and depth of their capacity to bring light to key challenges in the organic sector, and also help set future priorities for new funding under the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Bradman.
Bradman will receive the award at The Center’s Benefit Dinner on the evening of March 6 at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel.
The Organic Center’s 16th Annual Benefit Dinner is the biggest all-organic dinner and premier executive-level networking event at Natural Products Expo West. Hundreds of organic visionaries, activists and businesses will come together to enjoy an all-organic feast, created by Chef Megan Mitchell, and raise money to support the latest science on the environmental and health benefits of organic food and farming.
The keynote speaker this year is entrepreneur and organic food advocate Shannon Allen. Shannon, wife of two-time NBA champion Ray Allen, is the creator and owner of the thriving all-organic fast-food restaurant chain grown™.