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Daily News Blog

10
Dec

Take Action: Tell Your U.S. Senators to Reject Dow’s Hutchins as USDA Chief Scientist

(Beyond Pesticides, December 10, 2018) The Senate Agriculture Committee has cleared the way for the whole U.S. Senate to vote on the confirmation of Scott Hutchins, PhD, recently retired from research and management at what is now the agricultural division of DowDuPont, as chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). If confirmed, he will become the third member of Dow’s pesticide and seed division to hold a high-level position in the Trump administration’s USDA. 

Tell your U.S. Senators to Reject Dow’s Hutchins as USDA Chief Scientist.

Dr. Hutchins has a history of defending toxic pesticides like Dow’s chlorpyrifos, which makes him unsuitable for leading USDA’s research on the future of the U.S. food system. The chief scientist at USDA can determine the direction of USDA research–which should be shaped by an organic, rather than a chemical-intensive, vision. USDA needs a chief scientist who will help farmers get off the pesticide treadmill and adopt organic practices that address critical issues of protecting farmer and farmworker health, water resources, biodiversity, and soil health, while reducing the escalating crisis in global climate change. USDA’s research mission must be focused on sustainability and protect farmers, families, and the environment.

Since 1987, Dr. Hutchins has worked in addressing problems with chemical solutions at Dow AgroSciences’ pesticide and seed division, renamed Corteva Agriscience last year when it was spun off from the newly-merged DowDuPont, where Hutchins held the position of Corteva’s global leader of integrated field sciences, after serving as Dow AgroSciences’ global director for crop protection R&D.

Dow, which contributed $1 million to Trump’s inauguration in March 2017, got paid back when the EPA reversed its ban of chlorpyrifos. Other former high-level Dow employees appointed to the Trump USDA are former Dow AgroSciences lobbyist Ted McKinney, confirmed as USDA undersecretary for trade, and Ken Isley, appointed without need for Senate confirmation as head of the Foreign Agricultural Service. Rebekah Adcock, an advisor to Secretary Perdue, who was a lobbyist at CropLife America, a pesticide industry lobby group that includes Corteva. At EPA, former Dow lawyer Peter Wright has been nominated as assistant administrator of the EPA office that manages the Superfund program and other chemical hazards programs

Tell your U.S. Senators to Reject Dow’s Hutchins as USDA Chief Scientist.

Letter to Senators:

I am writing to urge you to reject the nomination of Scott Hutchins, PhD as USDA Chief Scientist. If confirmed, he will become the third member of Dow Chemical’s pesticide and seed division to hold a high-level position in the Trump administration’s USDA.

Dr. Hutchins has a history of defending toxic pesticides like Dow’s chlorpyrifos, which makes him unsuitable for leading USDA’s research on the future of the U.S. food system. Since 1987, Hutchins has worked in addressing problems with chemical solutions at Dow AgroSciences’ pesticide and seed division, renamed Corteva Agriscience last year when it was spun off from the newly-merged DowDuPont, where Hutchins holds the position of Corteva’s global leader of integrated field sciences, after serving as Dow AgroSciences’ global director for crop protection R&D.

The chief scientist at USDA can determine the direction of USDA research–which should be shaped by an organic, rather than a chemical-intensive vision. The USDA needs a chief scientist who will help farmers get off the pesticide treadmill and adopt organic practices that address critical issues of protecting farmer and farmworker health, water resources, biodiversity, and soil health, while reducing the escalating crisis in global climate change. USDA’s research mission must be focused on sustainability and protect farmers, families, and the environment.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

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