Chuck Benbrook


Chuck Benbrook serves as the leader of the CSANR program Measure to Manage: Farm and Food Diagnostics for Sustainability and Health (M2M). The goal of M2M is to develop, refine, validate, and apply analytical systems quantifying the impacts of farming systems, technology, and policy on food nutritional quality, food safety, agricultural productivity, economic performance along food value chains, and on natural resources and the environment.

Chuck Benbrook joined CSANR as a Research Professor in August, 2012. Over a long career, Dr. Benbrook has developed a variety of analytical systems quantifying food quality and safety, and the impacts of agricultural technology and policy. He has worked extensively with several major government data sets, translating, for example, detailed statistics on pesticide use and residue levels into measures of pesticide risk, and government data on the levels of nutrients in food into measures of a food’s nutritional value.

He spent the first 18 years of his career working in Washington, D.C., first working for the Executive Office of the President (1979-1980), then as the Executive Director for a U.S. House of Representatives agricultural subcommittee (1981-1983). He was the ED of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Agriculture from 1984-1990, and has run a small consulting firm since 1991. He moved to the west in 1997, and served as the Chief Scientist for The Organic Center from 2004 through June of 2012. He has participated as an expert witness in several lawsuits involving pesticides and agricultural biotechnology.

Benbrook has served as an appointed member on the USDA’s AC 21 agricultural biotechnology advisory committee since 2011, and prior to that, was a member of the Roundup Ready Alfalfa Task Force convened by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.  Benbrook is a member of the AGree project advisory committee. He is a member of the management team developing the PRiME model for ranking relative pesticide risks.  Since 2008, he has been a member of Earthbound Farm’s Science Advisory Committee.  He also serves as an advisor to Whole Foods Market (WFM), and is on the board of Protected Harvest, an ecolabel certification organization. He also is a member of the coordinating council of the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops.

Chuck Benbrook earned a B.A. degree in economics from Harvard University in 1971, and M.A. and PhD degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1979/1980.


Selected Peer Reviewed Papers and Contributions (see CV for complete list)

Benbrook, C., Butler, G., Latif, M., Leifert, C., Davis, D. (2013). “Organic Production Enhances Milk Nutritional Quality by Shifting Fatty Acid Composition: A United States-Wide, 18-Month Study,” PLOS ONE, December 9, 2013;


Benbrook, C. (2012). Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use in the U.S. – the First Sixteen Years. Environmental Sciences-Europe, 24:24;

Benbrook, C. et al. Methodologic flaws in selecting studies and comparing nutrient concentrations led Dangour et al to miss the emerging forest amid the trees, Am. Jour. Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 90(6): 1700-1. 2009.

Benbrook, C. and C. McCullum-Gomez. Organic vs Conventional Farming, Jour. Amer. Dietetic Assoc., Vol 109(5): 809-811. 2009

Benbrook, C. et al. Use of  ‘resistance risk profiles’ to guide resistance management planning, Pesticide Outlook, Royal Society of Chemistry, 14:3, June 2003.

Baker, B. P., C.M. Benbrook, E. Groth, and K.L. Benbrook. Pesticide residues in conventional, integrated pest management (IPM)-grown and organic foods: insights from three US data sets. Food Addit.Contam Vol 19(5): 427-46. 2002.

Benbrook, C. M. et al. Developing a pesticide risk assessment tool to monitor progress in reducing reliance on high-risk pesticides. American Journal of Potato Research, 79 (2002): 183-99.

Contact Information

M2M Program Leader

90063 Troy Road
Enterprise, Oregon 97828
Curriculum Vitae
Benbrook Blog Posts