Being green: MSU offers sustainability specialization
Michigan State University students majoring in packaging, business, anthropology, or a host of other disciplines will now be able to earn a specialization in sustainability, something that could increase their postgraduation job prospects.
The program is the first in the country that will use what’s known as a “competency-based curriculum” which will demand more from its students than just the taking and passing of classes. This educational approach reflects the growing scholarship on teaching and learning as well as the call for more accountability in higher education, said program director Geoffrey Habron.
Being offered through a number of MSU colleges, the specialization will provide students with the practical experience they will need in an ever-greening world. The specialization will require 18 credit hours of study that will appear on students’ official transcripts and complement their majors.
MSU units involved in the program are the colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Social Science, Natural Science, Eli Broad College of Business, Arts and Letters, and James Madison College.
Classes for the specialization will begin in the fall and students can sign up now. For more information contact: Tom Oswald, University Relations, Office: (517) 432-0920 , Cell: (517) 281-7129 , [log in to unmask]; Geoffrey Habron, Fisheries and Wildlife, Office: (517) 432-8086 , [log in to unmask]
New study finds link between pesticide exposure and ADHD
A new study out this month has linked Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) with organophosphate pesticide exposure. Organophosphates are a commonly used pesticide in many agricultural crops, with 73 million pounds being applied in 2008 alone. The US Pesticide Residue Program Report showed that the organophosphate pesticide malathion showed up in 28% of commercially-produced blueberries, 24% of strawberries and 19% of celery in 2008.
This new study, carried out by Dr. Maryse Bouchard of the University of Montreal and her colleagues at Harvard, sampled 1139 children, 119 of which met the criteria to be diagnosed with ADHD. The researchers found that elevated concentrations of dialkyl phosphate metabolites in urine, which are markers of organophosphate exposure, are correlated with increased occurrence of ADHD.
These results give us a chance to revisit another related study that came several years ago. In 2006, Chensheng Lu of Emory University and his colleagues at the University of Washington and the Center for Disease Control, found that levels of malathion in children's urine rapidly began to decrease after the children were put on all organic diets.
Bouchard, M.F., D.C. Bellinger, R.O. White and M.G. Weisskopf. 2010. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides. Pediatrics. Published online May 17, 2010 (10.1542/peds.2009-3058).
Lu, C., K. Toepel, R. Irish, R.A. Fenske, D. B. Barr and R. Bravo. 2006. Organic Diets Significantly Lower Children's Dietary Exposure to Organophosphorus Pesticides. Environmental Health Perspectives 114(2): 260-263.
Seeking Organic Land to Rent
John Chian would like to lease 5 acres (Van Buren Co./Geneva Township) to someone wanting to farm organically. If interested email John at [log in to unmask].

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