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Whistleblower Accuses USDA of Censorship Over Anti-Pesticide Reports


#1

Whistleblower Accuses USDA of Censorship Over Anti-Pesticide Reports

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

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.


#2

Thank you, PEER and Dr. Lundgren. Godspeed and keep us informed, please.


#3

Yes, thanks to ethical professionals like this scientist, our knowledge of dangers to our own and the planet's health is increased. May such honest and humane types multiply within the state, corporate and academic world!!! Whistleblowers keep it up!!! Thank you


#4

In the course of ones life as a US citizen, subject, consumer, one comes across reports like this one, that cast light on the crass, pro-corporate, anti-human and anti-Earth bias of the government, the blatant manipulation of information, and the stark lies of official "public relations" [read: propaganda].

At what point does one apply the lessons of such an enlightening moment to the larger system, and ones own relationship to it?

What does one do with ones citizenship, ones consumerism, ones life, once one recognizes the corruption and outrageous ecological and human crimes that are standard operating procedure in the system one is supposed to feel "part of"?

It seems to me that all of us come across such information, and have multiple opportunities to sketch a picture for ourselves of what is actually happening on a large scale behind the propaganda.

So one of the questions i regularly pose in these threads is:

What are we doing, in our lives, with our lives, with our families and friends and neighbors and coworkers, to work out a proper response to such outrages?


#5

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#6

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#7

the question of a lifetime. :smile:


#8

or Bernie. :O)


#9

While discussing the latest WHO report on red meat consumption, and what is involved in the production of it, one astute journalist asked about the USDA's many apparent conflicting guidelines about the consumption in the school lunch program, food stamps, WIC, etc. You get the picture, here. Yes, the several agencies of this gov't are captured by corporate interests, but not always the same ones, when it comes to the people's need and right to know about their food. And, neonics are still being used, as is RoundUp, et al. Everywhere, too, pretty much. Of the approximately 8200 chemicals the EPA ( 1968 ) was to study/test before allowing their usage in the U.S., only about 1200 have ever been scrutinized, tested, studied whatever, by this rogue agency. Bon Appetit, my aching arse.


#10

Harper was a disaster for Canada, but compared with what is going on here, he was quite benign.


#11

At least Harper didn't have his staff plant an organic garden in Ottawa the way the Obamas did at the White House to distract attention from all the agribusiness/chemical/GMO cartel operatives Obama appointed to executive roles in his administration.


#13

While I have a lot of respect for the dissidents and activists that dedicate their lives to these causes, I'll admit that I (like most of us) won't ever be one of them.
I'm too scared, too anxious, and too locked into the system (mortgage, 9-to-5, car payment, &c). As much as I love to fantasize about getting outside the system, I don't think I've got the guts.
So I try to minimize my consumption, vote with my wallet (when I can afford it) when it comes to food, vote for people who share my values (or come the closest), and educate myself.
But let's be honest. It's so much harder (in the US, in 2015) to do the right thing than it is to simply go along to get along. I think most of us who read CD would agree that the rot has set in at the roots of our public life -- anti-science legislators heading science committees, former Monsanto execs heading the EPA and FDA, and everyone worrying more about upsetting donors than doing the right thing.
One truth is that, individually, we're pretty close to powerless. And another truth is that most of us have been so indoctrinated to think all problems are the fault of government or "those people" and all solutions are individual.
We're living in dark times.


#14

I remember when W. appointed Christine Todd Whitman as EPA admin. I was just out of college, and paying attention to politics for the first time. I thought it was strange when he described her role as something along the lines of "balancing the interests of business and the environment." (I figured the EPA existed primarily to advocate for the environment, as there are already so many advocating for business.) She eventually quit because, as she says now, she objected to a Cheney directive that she loosen air-quality standards. When W. left office, having learned his lesson, EPA admin Johnson (who publicly stated that his motivation for going into civil service was because he found regulations frustrating) was the subject of an open letter "complaining that he had ignored the EPA's official Principles of Scientific Integrity in advancing Bush Administration positions on water fluoridation, pesticide regulation, mercury emissions, and greenhouse gas control." The co-signers were a majority of his EPA employees.
Fifteen years later, we're doing a little better, with a current EPA chief who actually believes in air quality, global warming, &c. But she still sees a big part of her job as "balancing" environment and growth.
I truly worry what the next Republican appointment would look like.


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#17

balancing environment and growth, growth always wins. That has to stop and we could put people to work rebuilding, manufacturing more solar, more wine, more other energy sources and a new grid. Upgrade our airports, ports, bridges, powering stations for cars, and limiting our growth into more productive regeneration. We all can't be billionaires but we all can and should of opportunity and the ability to provide for our families and some leisure time. How you define growth is very important. We need to limit population growth, the planet cannot be maintained at the rate of the last 30 or even 50 years of population explosion. Most of America understands this or understands they cannot afford more than one or two children. Except for the family who has 19 and a TV show (disgusting) or the girl that given birth to 8 and .....also gets a lot of media attention. Disgusting!


#18

thx, aligator. i keep wanting to call you 'gator. i knew a guy with that nickname.


#19

Thanks Shirley.

"One truth is that, individually, we're pretty close to powerless. And another truth is that most of us have been so indoctrinated to think all problems are the fault of government or "those people" and all solutions are individual."

This is why i try to remember to include "our families and friends and neighbors and coworkers" in my question. The place to start is by talking to each other, as openly and honestly as we can, including looking at the structure of our powerlessness, to seek where we might be able to exercise power.

i also recognize that talking itself can be personally risky, including the risk of being drummed out of a job, or being socially ostracized. i just think the level of the crisis we face, makes these risks necessary. Easy for me to say, and every person has to work out their own life course!


#20

Gotta agree with you about USDA and FDA and their alliance with Monsanto.
Add to that EPA and most if not all of our landgrant universities.