USDA


Advancing Scientific Integrity Through Federal Advisory Committees

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

Back in October, I provided a comment at a public meeting for a National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) advisory committee that was set up to review the process to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Their first charge was to write a report with recommendations on how the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) selection process could be improved to provide more transparency, minimize bias, and include committee members with a range of viewpoints. Read more >

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Thank a Government Scientist Today. Their Work—and Our Health and Safety—Is Under Attack.

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

Today President Trump signed an executive order mandating that for any new rule issued from an agency, two would have to be revoked. Such a proposal is absurd, illogical, and threatening to our public health and safety.

Last week, the Trump administration also issued a government-wide hiring freeze, instituted a far-reaching gag-order, and stopped the normal flow of grants and contracts issuance at federal agencies. All of these actions were major hindrances to government employees’ ability to do their jobs.

Actions like these affect us all. When it comes to science-based agencies and the scientists that work there, it is worth reminding ourselves of the crucial role they play in in our daily lives.

Here are six reasons you should thank a government scientist today: Read more >

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Science Must Trump Politics at the USDA, Especially During Turbulent Times

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

It has been a rough week for scientists at federal agencies. As the administration has changed over and new leadership is beginning to find its footing, there has been a flurry of emails and directives coming down to agency staff. There are critical democracy concerns with some of the calls seen at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation, Department of Health and Human Services to halt communication with the media, suspension of social media accounts at the Department of Interior, and hiring and grant and contract freezes at EPA.  Read more >

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The Fox Who Will Guard the Nation’s Henhouses (And Five Questions the Senate Should Ask Him)

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

On the final day before his inauguration last week, then-President-elect Trump finally chose a nominee for Secretary of Agriculture, the last cabinet post to be filled. The months-long selection process was circus-like, with as many as a dozen candidates floated. Early on there was the Democrat. Then there was the foul-mouthed rodeo cowboy. Along the way, there was the former university president and the strawberry-farmer-turned-politician (either of whom would have been the only Latino in the cabinet, but oh well). Late in the game, there was even a banker who threw his own hat into the ring. But in the end, the winner was the first guy interviewed, former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. Read more >

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USDA Nominee Perdue’s Connection to Coca-Cola is Deeper Than Georgia Roots

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

Agriculture secretary is the last Cabinet post to be filled by the Trump transition team. The delayed nomination of this position says a lot about the administration’s interest in the agency, which is incredibly important considering that the USDA is responsible for the production, distribution, and safety of the food we eat. Read more >

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