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USDA Kansas City relocation halts research on honeybees, organic food and Bayer’s dicamba herbicide

| | October 4, 2019

The relocation of two Agriculture Department agencies out of the District of Columbia has delayed the publication of dozens of research reports, squelched early-stage studies and halted the release of millions of dollars in funding, USDA employees say.

At the direction of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, two scientific agencies — the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Economic Research Service — moved to Kansas City this summer ….

The nearly 40 delayed reports include studies into veterans’ diets, honeybee health and the opioid epidemic. Other reports address obesity, international markets and organic foods. These studies are completed but unpublished. Other ERS projects, in earlier stages, have been abandoned.

Laura Dodson, an economist and acting vice president of …. the union chapter that represents ERS employees, had been working on what was to be a two-year-long report on the herbicide dicamba. Soybean farmers use dicamba where weeds have developed resistance to another herbicide, glyphosate. But dicamba “has serious negative effects to neighboring farms who don’t plant dicamba-resistant seeds,” Dodson said.

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ERS is “one of the few places, if not the only place right now, that has field-level data on dicamba drift issues,” Dodson said. The scientists who would have been her co-authors left ERS. Dodson will be unable to complete the study alone.

Read full, original article: USDA relocation has delayed key studies and millions in funding, employees say

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