SEEC Co-Chair Statement on the Suppression of Climate Science at USDA

Jun 25, 2019 Issues: Climate Change, Environment

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, SEEC Co-Chairs Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Doris Matsui (D-CA), and Paul Tonko (D-NY) issued a statement joining with SEEC Vice-Chair Congresswoman Chellie Pingree to request that USDA’s Inspector General investigate the suppression of valuable climate research conducted by the Agriculture Research Service (ARS), a division of USDA. This week, Politico reported that only two ARS studies related to climate change have been publicized since January 2017, while at least 45 ARS studies about how climate change is impacting farmers and our food supply were not promoted.

“The Trump Administration is yet again undermining science and putting the health and safety of Americans at risk, this time by suppressing studies that show how our farmers and our food supply are endangered by climate change. It is the responsibility of any Administration to face the facts about climate change and move proactively to protect the public, which is why we are joining SEEC Vice-Chair Rep. Chellie Pingree in calling for an investigation and report from USDA Inspector General Phyllis Fong. Reports and information like this should be shared widely so that our agricultural community can take the necessary steps to prepare for an already changing climate.”

The letter from Vice-Chair Rep. Pingree reads in part:

“I am deeply concerned by these recent reports. Federally-funded research should never be suppressed. Farmers are already experiencing the effects of climate change, and the federal government should be doing everything it can to give farmers the research they need to stay in business. I believe this issue warrants further investigation by USDA’s OIG [Office of the Inspector General] and request a report be conducted on USDA’s dissemination of climate change research.”

A signed copy of Pingree’s letter can be found here.