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

Companies are using new gene-editing tools to alter the DNA of food crops. One of these products is a soybean with a healthier kind of oil. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Will Gene-Edited Food Be Government Regulated?

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A bowl of Honey Toasted Kernza. General Mills made 6,000 boxes of the cereal and is passing them out to spread the word about perennial grains. Olivia Sun/NPR hide caption

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Olivia Sun/NPR

Can This Breakfast Cereal Help Save The Planet?

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These Palmer amaranth — or pigweed — plants, seen growing in a greenhouse at Kansas State University, appear to be resistant to multiple herbicides. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

As Weeds Outsmart The Latest Weedkillers, Farmers Are Running Out Of Easy Options

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Cattle eating a mixture of antibiotic-free corn and hay at Corrin Farms, near Neola, Iowa. Their meat is sold by Niman Ranch. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Some In The Beef Industry Are Bucking The Widespread Use Of Antibiotics. Here's How

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A biomechanical model of producing an "f" sound with an overbite (left) compared with an edge-to-edge bite (right). Some linguists are arguing that the advent of softer food thousands of years ago led to changes in biting patterns and, eventually, to more frequent use of sounds like "f" and "v" in human languages. Scott Moisik hide caption

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Scott Moisik

Fighting Global Warming Requires Changes In How Cows Are Fed

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Toronto's King Street May Lead To A Carbon-Neutral City

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Solar panels fill a field in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France. Panoramic Images/Getty Images hide caption

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Panoramic Images/Getty Images

It's 2050 And This Is How We Stopped Climate Change

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William Happer, a Princeton scientist who is doubtful of the dangers of climate change, appears to be leading a White House challenge to the government's conclusion that global warming is a threat. Gage Skidmore/Flickr hide caption

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Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Meet The White House's New Chief Climate Change Skeptic

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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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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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