In eight months as president, Trump has become infamous for rolling back policies that ensure health and safety. In his latest installment, he compromised food safety by making a risky decision.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) “provide[s] leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.”
The USDA’s primary purpose is to “[ensure] that the Nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and properly labeled, and packaged.”
The agency also keeps the public up to date with nutrition to form “a safe, sustainable, competitive U.S. food and fiber system, as well as strong communities, families, and youth through integrated research, analysis, and education.”
In other words, the USDA is essential for keeping food safe in America, but now the Trump administration has other plans for the USDA. A new order by the administration obstructs the flow of information released by the USDA.
According to an email sent and obtained by BuzzFeed News, the department told staff — including some 2,000 scientists — at the agency’s main in-house research arm, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), to stop communicating with the public about taxpayer-funded work.
“Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents,” Sharon Drumm, chief of staff for ARS, wrote in a department-wide email shared with BuzzFeed News.
“This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content,” she added.
Until further notice, USDA scientists are on lockdown.
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