The Center for Food Safety heralded reports that Michael Dourson, President Trump's controversial nominee to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Wednesday withdrew his nomination after senators raised concerns over his past work and conflicts of interest.
"Dourson is a long-time pesticide industry shill, with a history of manipulating scientific research to benefit corporate special interests. He was a dangerous, irresponsible choice to oversee chemical safety at the EPA," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director a Center for Food Safety.
The Non-Scientist Trump Chose for USDA Chief Scientist Is Now a 'Cooperative Witness' in Russia Probe
UPDATE: The White House announced Thursday that Sam Clovis has withdrawn himself from consideration for the position of USDA chief scientist amid reports of his role in the Trump campaign's communications with Russian officials.
"We respect Mr. Clovis' decision to withdraw his nomination," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
Clovis wrote a letter to the president dated on Tuesday that stated, "I do not want to be a distraction or negative influence, particularly with so much important work left to do for the American people."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Karen Perry Stillerman
This job has responsibility for scientific integrity at the USDA, as well as oversight of the department's various research arms and multi-billion dollar annual investments in agricultural research and education that are essential to farmers and eaters alike.
President Trump is set to nominate Sam Clovis, a former economics professor and conservative talk show radio host, to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's top scientific position, according to reports.