Agency: USDA

Silencing Science Tracker

Agency: USDA

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.

2018-02-12 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.