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Bee-killing Neonics and Suppressing the Facts

Discussion in 'Nature/Habitat/Garden Corner' started by KTdid, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Earlier this week, a top researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a complaint alleging that the agency retaliated against him for his research on bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides — and for blowing the whistle on USDA interference with his research.


    Dr. Jonathan Lundgren has worked at USDA's Agricultural Research Service lab in Brookings, South Dakota for 11 years. His peer-reviewed research on neonicotinoids (neonics), and their impact on pollinators, has been widely published and has received accolades from his contemporaries.

    USDA, however, appears to be less pleased. The claim that Lundgren filed against USDA highlights examples of unusual agency behavior that slowed down his research and made it difficult for Lundgren and others in his lab to do their jobs.

    This week’s whistleblower complaint, filed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Lundgren’s behalf, provides evidence that disciplinary action taken against him was in retaliation of his scientific integrity complaint.

    Not the first time

    The news on Lundgren’s case just broke yesterday, and those of us outside the agency can’t know exactly what happened behind closed doors. But unfortunately, recent USDA history gives us reason to be concerned.

    In July 2014, Dr. Jeffrey Pettis — formerly the lead scientist at the USDA’s bee research lab in Beltsville, Maryland — was demoted from his position. Leading U.S. beekeeping organizations were
    vocal in their concern over Pettis’s removal, as he had established himself as a strong advocate for beekeepers and “advanced research on honey bees like few others in the world can claim.” Pettis himself expressed that he had “strong reservations” about the change in leadership, but chose not to publicly challenge the changing of the guard.

    We need public eyes on USDA — and on all public agencies responsible for making critical regulatory decisions about pesticides, genetically engineered crops, and our food and farming system. Rigorous, independent science is the bedrock beneath sound regulatory decisions. Red flags about intimidation and harassment of USDA scientists should cause concern for all of us. It’s time for the agency to clean up its act.

    You can find the complete article here http://www.panna.org/blog/usda-suppressing-bee-science?utm_source=groundtruth&utm_medium=alert&utm_campaign=gt-10-30

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