Food and Agriculture

We need to fix our broken food system—and science can help us do it. UCS food experts highlight solutions to ensure that every American has access to healthy, green, fair, affordable food.


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Latest Food and Agriculture Posts

This Summer’s Gulf “Dead Zone” Could Be Bigger Than Connecticut—and Trump’s Budget Cuts Would Make It Worse

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Summer is almost here, and you know what that means. Sun, sand, and…a watery wasteland devoid of all life? Yep, this is the time each year when a team of federal and university scientists predicts the size of the so-called dead zone that will develop in the Gulf of Mexico later in the summer. We’re waiting for that official prediction, but based on federal nitrate flux data and Midwest weather patterns this spring, it seems likely that it will be bigger than usual. Read more >

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An Insider’s View on the Value of Federal Research

Mike Haas, , UCS

Not long after receiving my doctorate in biochemistry I took a research position with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the main research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Prior to retiring in 2014 I had spent my entire career, 33 years, with ARS. I had a chance to see federal research from within the system. Contrary to what you may have heard, it’s been my experience that federal research is solutions-oriented, transparent, and nonpolitical.   Read more >

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The pesticide chlorpyrifos is used on a variety of fruits and vegetables—including apples and broccoli—that millions of American moms and dads feed their kids every day. Photo: Martinan/iStock

7 States Give Pruitt an “F” in Science, Challenge EPA Over Pesticide That Harms Children

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Back in March, EPA Administrator and science skeptic Scott Pruitt ignored his agency’s own science when he canceled a planned ban on chlorpyrifos, a well-studied pesticide that has been shown to damage children’s developing brains and make farmworkers sick. But the fight to protect kids and workers from this toxic pesticide isn’t over. In a welcome new twist, the Attorney General of New York and his counterparts in six other states announced today that they have filed an objection with the EPA for its inaction. Read more >

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We All Benefit from Foreign Nations’ Food Crop Diversity—But Do Our Politics Reflect This Interdependence?

Colin Khoury, , UCS

Earlier this spring, the United States became the newest member of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, a global agreement on sharing and caring for seeds. It’s a remarkable moment for an agreement whose central tenet is that all countries need one another, especially since it’s really hard to measure just how much they do. Read more >

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The Trump Budget Is an Affront to Farmers (and All of Us)

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

I’m starting to feel like a broken record. Last month, I listed five ways President Trump had failed rural America in just his first 100 days. A few weeks prior, I’d documented evidence that his administration’s initial (so-called “skinny”) FY18 budget proposal would cut technical assistance for farmers and nutrition assistance used by rural households at higher rates than urban ones. Read more >

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