Dan Charles
Maggie Starbard/NPR
Dan Charles
Maggie Starbard/NPR

Dan Charles

Correspondent, Food and Agriculture

Dan Charles is NPR's food and agriculture correspondent.

Primarily responsible for covering farming and the food industry, Charles focuses on the stories of culture, business, and the science behind what arrives on your dinner plate.

This is his second time working for NPR; from 1993 to 1999, Charles was a technology correspondent at NPR. He returned in 2011.

During his time away from NPR, Charles was an independent writer and radio producer and occasionally filled in at NPR on the Science and National desks, and at Weekend Edition. Over the course of his career Charles has reported on software engineers in India, fertilizer use in China, dengue fever in Peru, alternative medicine in Germany, and efforts to turn around a troubled school in Washington, DC.

In 2009-2010, he taught journalism in Ukraine through the Fulbright program. He has been guest researcher at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and a Knight Science Journalism fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

From 1990 to 1993, Charles was a U.S. correspondent for New Scientist, a major British science magazine.

The author of two books, Charles wrote Master Mind: The Rise and Fall of Fritz Haber, The Nobel Laureate Who Launched the Age of Chemical Warfare (Ecco, 2005) and Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and the Future of Food (Perseus, 2001) about the making of genetically engineered crops.

Charles graduated magna cum laude from American University with a degree in economics and international affairs. After graduation Charles spent a year studying in Bonn, which was then part of West Germany, through the German Academic Exchange Service.

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Corn rootworm beetle larvae feed on maize root and seed. Nigel Cattlin/Science Source hide caption

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As a GMO Pillar Wobbles, Biotech Companies Promise New Insect-Killing Genes

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A central Illinois corn farmer refills his sprayer with the weedkiller glyphosate on a farm near Auburn, Ill. The pesticide has been the subject of intense international scrutiny. Seth Perlman/AP hide caption

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Farmers Lament Bayer's Acquisition Of Monsanto For $66 Billion

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Bayer To Buy Monsanto For $66B, Part Of A Trend Of Consolidation In Big Ag

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Associate professor William Ristenpart talks with Sabrina Perell, a community regional development major, and Kyle Phan, an undeclared major, about the taste of their brew during the Design of Coffee class last October at UC Davis. Students learn the science of coffee, from roasting to brewing. Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis hide caption

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STEM To Steam: How Coffee Is Perking Up Engineering Education

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A farmer sprays a soybean field in Granger, Iowa. There's new and detailed data on the impact of genetically modified crops on pesticide use. Those crops replaced insecticides, and, at first, some herbicides. But herbicide use has rebounded. Charlie Neibergall/AP hide caption

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Minnesota's governor has ordered new restrictions on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been blamed for killing bees. Many details of the plan, however, remain to be worked out Jim, the Photographer/Flickr hide caption

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Lenny Zimmel puts Colby cheese curds into forms to make 40-pound blocks of cheese at Widmer's Cheese Cellars in Theresa, Wis. Record dairy production in the U.S. has produced a record surplus of cheese, causing prices to drop. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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America's Real Mountain Of Cheese Is On Our Plates

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Berkeley, Calif., passed the nation's first soda tax in 2014. According to a new study, the tax has succeeded in cutting consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. But there's uncertainty about whether the effect will be permanent. Robert Galbraith/Reuters hide caption

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Berkeley's Soda Tax Appears To Cut Consumption Of Sugary Drinks

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Soda Tax Drives Down Sales In Berkeley, Calif.

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To protest against the falling prices of dairy and meat, farmers pour liters of milk in front of a prefecture in northwestern France in January. Jean-Francois Monier/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Non-GMO eggs. (this photo is for promo only, not for the page) Morgan McCloy/NPR hide caption

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Organic Food Fights Back Against 'Non-GMO' Rival

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Monsanto Sold Soybean Farmers A Weed-Beating Tool They Couldn't Legally Use

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Cookie dough clings to the beaters of a standing mixer. The Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to eat raw dough due to an ongoing outbreak of illnesses linked to flour tainted with E. coli. Larry Crowe/AP hide caption

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