The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Expert contact: Jason Davidson, (202) 222-0738,
Communications contact: Patrick Davis, (202) 222-0744,

Senate Agriculture Committee Must Reject Scott Hutchins as USDA Chief Scientist

Career dow pesticide executive should not lead USDA's food system research


The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry will today hold a hearing on the nomination of Scott Hutchins to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for research, education and economics. Hutchins has worked for Dow AgroSciences for over 30 years and would be the third member of Dow's pesticide and seed division to hold a high-level position in the Trump Administration's USDA.

Tiffany Finck-Haynes, pesticides and pollinators program manager at Friends of the Earth, made the following statement:

The Senate Agriculture Committee must not approve a career pesticide executive to lead research on the future of our food system at USDA. His history of defending toxic pesticides like the neurotoxin chlorpyrifos and promoting pesticide use disqualify him as an objective leader for the agency.

If Scott Hutchins becomes the chief scientist of USDA, he could use the agency's grants and education programs to promote his chemical intensive vision for our food system. The head of research at the USDA must help farmers address challenges like a changing climate -- not perpetuate the toxic pesticide treadmill. Senators must reject a chemical industry hack like Hutchins in order to protect farmers, families and the environment.

Friends of the Earth fights for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.

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