Tag Archives: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Trump’s USDA Rolls Back School Lunch Guidelines Championed by Michelle Obama

The nutrition rules were long abhorred by industry groups who now have a friend in the White House

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-1-2017

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, joined by Sen. Pat Roberts (left) & Tom Marshall, Loudoun County School Board, signs a proclamation.. Photo: USDA

In one of his first orders of business, President Donald Trump’s newly confirmed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue took steps to weaken school lunch standards championed by former First Lady Michelle Obama.

In an interim final rule, announced by Perdue while he visited an elementary school in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Leesburg, Virginia on Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is rolling back nutrition rules that were part of Obama’s Let’s Move campaign that was abhorred by food industry groups. Continue reading

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Groups to Probe Why Pruitt Put ”Pesticide Industry Profits Ahead of Children’s Health”

‘Americans have a right to know who influenced the EPA to suddenly reverse course’

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-12-2017

“Americans have a right to know who influenced the EPA to suddenly reverse course and put pesticide industry profits ahead of children’s health,” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight. (Photo: Austin Valley/flickr/cc)

How is it that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt came to the decision to reject his own agency’s science and reject a ban the insecticide chlorpyrifos?

Watchdog group American Oversight and advocacy organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) want to know, and are ready to sue to get to the bottom of the matter.

Pruitt’s March 29 decision to deny a 10-year-old petition brought forth by Pesticide Action Network and the Natural Resources Defense Council sparked outrage from public health advocates and environmentalists who say the move—which is what the chemical’s maker, Dow, had wanted—was unacceptable in the face of studies linking the nerve agent to numerous adverse effects, from contaminating water to harming children’s brain development. Continue reading

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Whistleblower Accuses USDA of Censorship Over Anti-Pesticide Reports

‘Bureaucracies under political pressure from corporate stakeholders routinely shoot the messenger, even if they are wearing a lab coat.’

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-29-2015

A USDA researcher says he was censored and punished for reporting on the harmful effects of pesticides like clothianidin. (Photo: jetsandzeppelins/flickr/cc)

A USDA researcher says he was censored and punished for reporting on the harmful effects of pesticides like clothianidin. (Photo: jetsandzeppelins/flickr/cc)

A top scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a whistleblower complaint Wednesday that accuses the agency of harassment and retaliation for his work showing harmful effects on monarch butterflies from a class of widely used insecticides know as neonicotinoids, or neonics.

The department reportedly imposed a 14-day suspension (pdf) on Dr. Jonathan Lundgren, a senior research entomologist at the USDA, for publishing an unapproved report manuscript in a science journal on the “non-target effects” of a widely used neonic strain and for travel violations ahead of a presentation on the results to a scientific panel. Continue reading

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