Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

USRTK Calls for Investigation of Monsanto Cover Up, Harassment of USDA Scientists

WASHINGTON -

U.S. Right to Know sent letters today to the chairs and ranking members of the U.S. Senate and House Agriculture Committees, and to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, requesting an investigation of a possible cover up for Monsanto, and whether USDA scientists are being harassed when their work runs counter to the interests of the agrichemical industry. 

The letters are in reaction to a March 27 Reuters article that, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, “some scientists working for the federal government are finding their research restricted or censored when it conflicts with agribusiness industry interests….at least 10 USDA scientists have been investigated or faced other consequences arising from research that called into question the safety of certain agricultural chemicals….Research into glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, and neonicotinoid insecticides, which have been linked to honey bee and monarch butterfly endangerment, face particular scrutiny…”

“If true, this is a major scandal at USDA.  It is not the proper role of the USDA to engage in a cover up for Monsanto or other agrichemical companies,” wrote Gary Ruskin, executive director of consumer advocacy group U.S. Right to Know. “It is intolerable that the agribusiness and agrichemical should be able to interfere with USDA scientists and their work.  Those scientists work for the public, not Monsanto nor the agrichemical industry.  They must be fully insulated from the political pressure of the agribusiness and agrichemical industries.  It is crucial to the public interest that they do their work without industry harassment or obstruction. The integrity of the USDA is at stake.”

The letters urged the House and Senate Agriculture Committees and the USDA Inspector General to conduct full and thorough investigations into corporate interference with USDA scientists, to publicly release any evidence of industry interference with USDA scientists, and to ensure that such interference never happens again.

In January, U.S. Right to Know released a report – titled Seedy Business -- on the chemical and food industry’s $100 million campaign to keep consumers in the dark about genetically engineered food: how they manipulated the media, public opinion, science and politics.

U.S. Right to Know is a new nonprofit food organization that investigates and reports on what food companies don’t want us to know about our food. For more information, please see our website at usrtk.org.

See today’s letters from U.S. Right to Know.

See the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility’s news release, “USDA Urged to Shield Its Scientists from Harassment.”

###

U.S. Right to Know is a nonprofit investigative research group focused on promoting transparency for public health. We are working globally to expose corporate wrongdoing and government failures that threaten the integrity of our health, our environment and our food system.

'Bloodbath': At Least 6 Dead, Dozens Wounded in Mass Shooting at Illinois July 4th Parade

"What freedom do we have if we fear being gunned down at a parade?" asked one progressive politician horrified by the reported carnage.

Brett Wilkins ·


On This July 4th, Abortion Rights Movement Says 'We're Not in the Mood for Fireworks'

"If we don’t have the ability to make decisions about if, when, and how to grow our families—we don't have freedom."

Brett Wilkins ·


Deadly Glacier Collapse in Italy 'Linked Directly to Climate Change'

At least seven people were killed when a glacier slid down a mountainside near a popular climbing route in the Alps on Sunday.

Julia Conley ·


'Organized Whitewash': US Claims Israeli Military's Murder of Journalist Not Intentional

"The odds that those responsible for the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh will be held to account are all but nonexistent," said the human rights group B'Tselem in response to findings of U.S. State Department.

Brett Wilkins ·


Hundreds March in Akron Enraged by Police Killing of Jayland Walker

"The police can do whatever they want," said one local resident through tears. "They can take our children's lives and think it's okay."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo