Agency: USDA

Silencing Science Tracker

Agency: USDA

2019-08-09 White House Chief of Staff Claims USDA Move Was Deliberate Attempt to Reduce Agency Workforce Federal, USDA Personnel Changes Other

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said that moving USDA groups out of DC to Kansas City was done to reduce the agency’s workforce.

2019-07-22 USFS Removes References to Climate Change from Wilderness Webpage Federal, USDA Government Censorship Climate

EDGI report shows that USFS removed references to climate change from its webpage about wilderness areas.

2019-07-18 USDA Officials Buried Climate Change Response Plan Federal, USDA Government Censorship Climate, Other

The USDA buried a plan detailing how agriculture can adapt to climate change

2019-06-24 USDA Buries Studies that Show Damages from Climate Change Federal, USDA Government Censorship Climate, Other

Scientists at the USDA claim that the agency has deliberately failed to publicize research publications that address the impact of climate change

2019-03-11 USDA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY20 Federal, USDA Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2020 budget proposes to cut USDA funding by 14.8% (compared to FY2019 levels). The cuts would affect several USDA research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service which would see its funding decline by 9.5%, and the National Agricultural Statistics Service which would see its funding decline by 14.7%.

2019-01-12 USDA Scientists Prevented from Attending Scientific Conference Federal, USDA Government Censorship Other

Hundreds of scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture were prevented from attending the 27th Annual Plant and Genome Conference due to the partial government shutdown.

2019-01 Scientific Conference Cancelled by USDA Due to Partial Government Shutdown Federal, USDA Government Censorship, Research Hindrance Climate, Other

Citing the partial federal government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cancelled its 30th annual Research Forum on Invasive Species, which had been scheduled to take place from January 8 to 11. According to USDA officials, the forum will not be rescheduled during 2019, due to difficulties “coordinating with speakers and the hotel.”

2018-08-14 USDA Scientists Prevented from Researching “Politically Contentious” Topics Federal, USDA Research Hindrance Climate, Other

A survey of federal government scientists found evidence of political interference in scientific research at USDA. The survey found, among other things, that resources have been shifted away from USDA programs and offices involved in “politically contentious” research.

2018-07 USDA Scientists Ordered to Label Peer-Reviewed Research “Preliminary” Federal, USDA Bias and Misrepresentation Climate, Other

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture were directed to include, on all research published in scientific journals, a statement indicating that “[t]he findings and conclusions in this preliminary publication have not been formally disseminated by the” department.

2018-02-12 USDA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19 Federal, USDA Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes to cut USDA funding by 16.4% (compared to FY2017 levels). Under the budget, funding for a number of USDA research programs, including statistical research programs administered by the Economic Research Service, would be reduced or eliminated.

2017-10 Forest Service Scientist Prevented from Attending Conference Federal, USDA Government Censorship Climate

A U.S. Forest Service scientist was denied approval to travel to an international fire conference where he was scheduled to speak on severe fire weather conditions and climate change.

2017-07-27 Climate Change Information Removed from USDA Website Federal, USDA Government Censorship Climate

Information on climate change mitigation and adaptation was removed, and then returned, to USDA’s “Climate Hubs” website.

2017-07 Non-Scientist Nominated for Top USDA Science Position Federal, USDA Personnel Changes Other

President Trump nominated Sam Clovis, a former radio announcer and economics professor, with no “hard-science” qualifications to the USDA’s top science position.

2017-05-23 USDA’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration Federal, USDA Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposed a 12% cut in funding for USDA climate and environmental research programs.

2017-02-16 USDA Staff Told to Avoid References to “Climate Change” Federal, USDA Self-Censorship Climate

USDA staff were instructed to avoid using certain terms, including “climate change,” which should be replaced with “weather extremes.”

2017-02 Animal Welfare Documents Removed from USDA Website Federal, USDA Government Censorship Other

Thousands of documents detailing animal welfare violations were removed from USDA’s website after being made publicly available for decades.

2017-01 Public Communication by USDA Staff Restricted Federal, USDA Government Censorship Climate, Other

The Trump transition team instructed USDA staff not to send out press releases, post on social media or blogs, or update websites and to consult with senior officials before speaking to the media.

2016-12 Names of USDA Staff Working on Climate Change Requested Federal, USDA Personnel Changes Climate

The Trump transition team requested information about USDA’s Office of Climate Change, including the names of all staff members.