Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

ACTION: Encourage the USDA to Stand Up for Consumer Interests, Not Cave to Pesticide Lobby

Environmental Working Group

By Ken Cook

For the last two years, the pesticide lobby, especially a front group called the Alliance for Food and Farming, has waged a multi-front campaign to get the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to repackage its pesticide data with industry talking points that downplay risks and consumers' concerns. And they attacked Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce in the bargain.

We expect to see USDA's 2010 pesticide data soon and fully expect that the agency has not caved to industry pressure. Giving you the information you need is too important. Your tax dollars paid for the government's pesticide tests. Stand with EWG today to make sure the USDA tells us the whole truth about pesticides on our food.

Last year, we launched an investigation into the Alliance for Food and Farming and its efforts to influence the USDA. We learned that:

  • The Alliance for Food and Farming—which represents the interests of conventional agriculture producers and pesticide companies—received a $180,000 grant from USDA in 2010 to slam "Environmental Working Group's 'dirty dozen' report," and to denounce "[c]laims by activist groups about unsafe levels of pesticides."
  • One top USDA official even wrote a letter endorsing the use of federal tax dollars to attack EWG. When EWG supporters like you called USDA out for funding the project with your tax money, internal documents obtained by EWG show that some USDA officials tried to do damage control, discussing whether they could rescind the grant or tone down disclosures about the project.
  • At the same time the Alliance for Food and Farming was preparing to attack EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, industry representatives were lobbying hard to have USDA change the way it would release pesticide data to include more industry-friendly spin downplaying the risks of pesticide residues.
  • More than a dozen industry representatives—including members of the Alliance for Food and Farming board of directors who led the campaign against EWG—wrote Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last year telling him to prevent "environmental activists" from presenting USDA pesticide data in a way that would hurt business.

Thanks to you, the Alliance for Food and Farming's government grant was not renewed. You told the USDA that consumers (and taxpayers) want unbiased pesticide data released.

Let's do it again this year. Make sure USDA officials know they can't cave to industry pressure—Americans want to know the truth.

Take action today by clicking here to tell the USDA not to cave to industry's pressure—you want to know what you're eating.

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Joe Leech

The human body comprises around 60% water.

It's commonly recommended that you drink eight 8-ounce (237-mL) glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule).

Read More Show Less

By Michael Svoboda

The enduring pandemic will make conventional forms of travel difficult if not impossible this summer. As a result, many will consider virtual alternatives for their vacations, including one of the oldest forms of virtual reality – books.

Read More Show Less
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Thursday accused NOAA of ignoring its own scientists' findings about the endangerment of the North Atlantic right whale. Lauren Packard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

As the North Atlantic right whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of critically endangered species Thursday, environmental protection groups accusing the U.S. government of bowing to fishing and fossil fuel industry pressure to downplay the threat and failing to enact common-sense restrictions to protect the animals.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Beth Ann Mayer

Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.

Read More Show Less
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less

Trending

People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less