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Daily News Archive
From April 9, 2001

From Bureaucrat to Fat Cat

According to the Bureau of National Affairs, James Aidala, a former Environmental Protection Agency assistant administrator, has joined the environmental management and consulting firm Jellinek, Schwartz & Connolly, a company that represents clients such as Dow, Cheminova, and the Chemical Manufacturer's Association. Mr. Aidala is former assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances (OPPTS). He joined EPA in 1993 as deputy assistant administrator for OPPTS. In his new role, Mr. Aidala will be senior vice president of Jellinek, Schwartz & Connolly's pesticide and agricultural chemical practice.

Moves, like Mr. Aidala's, from government to industry are very common in the U.S. Because of their insider information and connections to government, former federal employees are often highly sought after by industry. In fact, two thirds of the highest-ranking officials from the EPA's Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances have left since the program was established and are currently receiving at least part of their paychecks from pesticide interests.

In the 1999 report, From Bureaucrats to Fat Cats, the Environmental Working Group profiled sixteen former EPA pesticide officials, including four Assistant Administrators and two program directors, in their previous roles as EPA bureaucrats and current roles as industry fat cats. These include: Daniel Barolo, former Office of Pesticide Programs director, now Vice President, Jellinek, Schwartz & Connolly Inc., and Linda Fisher, former Assistant Administrator, now Vice President for worldwide and government/public affairs for Monsanto. The report also ties many of these people to the ethically suspect practice of testing pesticides on humans. For a copy, contact the Environmental Working Group at 202-667-6982 or at info@ewg.org.