Dr. Chuck Benbrook is a Research Professor for the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR) at Washington State University. He serves as the leader of the CSANR program Measure to Manage: Farm and Food Diagnostics for Sustainability and Health (M2M), whose goal 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. Dr. Benbrook has developed a variety of analytical systems for quantifying food quality and safety, and the impacts of agricultural technology and policy.
He spent the first 18 years of his career in Washington, D.C., first working for the Executive Office of the President (1979-1980), then as Executive Director for a U.S. House of Representatives agricultural subcommittee (1981-1983). He was Executive Director of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Agriculture (1984-1990), and has run a consulting firm since 1991. He moved west in 1997, and served as Chief Scientist for The Organic Center (2004-2012).
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, 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. Benbrook holds 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.