Dan Charles Dan Charles is NPR's food and agriculture correspondent.
Dan Charles
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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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Story Archive

Several U.S. cities have enacted taxes on sweetened drinks to raise money and fight obesity. But the results are mixed on how well they curb consumption. Daniel Acker/Getty Images hide caption

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Daniel Acker/Getty Images

U.S. Soda Taxes Work, Studies Suggest — But Maybe Not As Well As Hoped

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A landscape with a reforestation project in Gongxian County in Sichuan, China. Eye Ubiquitous/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

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Eye Ubiquitous/UIG via Getty Images

You May Be Surprised To Learn Which 2 Countries Are Making The Globe A Lot Greener

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Brent Henderson harvests soybeans on his farm near Weona, Ark., in 2017. That crop showed symptoms of dicamba exposure. Henderson switched to Xtend soybeans the following year, he says, as "insurance" against future damage. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Is Fear Driving Sales Of Monsanto's Dicamba-Proof Soybeans?

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Costco Wholesale requires its food suppliers to undergo annual inspections and requires some produce suppliers to hold shipments until tests come back negative for disease-causing bacteria. Mark Peterson/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Peterson/Corbis via Getty Images

Don't Panic: The Government Shutdown Isn't Making Food Unsafe

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Scientists have re-engineered photosynthesis, the foundation of life on Earth, creating genetically modified plants that grow faster and bigger. Above, scientists measure how well modified tobacco plants photosynthesize compared to unmodified plants. Haley Ahlers/RIPE Project hide caption

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Haley Ahlers/RIPE Project

Scientists Have 'Hacked Photosynthesis' In Search Of More Productive Crops

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Steven Falk, former city manager of Lafayette, Calif., outside the city's Bay Area Rapid Transit station. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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For One City Manager, Climate Becomes A Matter Of Conscience

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Investigators who are trying to track down the source of E. coli in romaine lettuce have seen this before. They're tracking the exact strain of bacteria that caused a small outbreak a year ago. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Investigators Tracking Latest Romaine Lettuce Outbreak Are Feeling Some Deja Vu

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Investigators Work To Track Down Source Of Romaine Lettuce Contamination

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No Romaine Lettuce Is Safe To Eat, CDC Warns Consumers

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Alba Nava uses an aspirator to gather virus-carrying whiteflies that have been feeding on tomato plants at the University of Florida. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Is The Pentagon Modifying Viruses To Save Crops — Or To Wage Biological Warfare?

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