Scientists and economists concerned over USDA’s relocation plans for NIFA and ERS

August 18, 2018 |

In Washington, D.C., U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is planning on relocating the Economic Research Service and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture out of Washington, D.C. by the end of 2019 as part of a reorganization of his department.

Scientists are concerned over the plan to overhaul the two federal offices tasked with food and agriculture research, calling the move a ploy to slash funding to projects on climate change, nutrition and other top concerns.

“The Union of Concerned Scientists has warned that placing ERS in the Secretary’s Office could intensify political scrutiny of its research, an issue the office’s current placement was designed to prevent,” according to The Washington Post.

The ERS was already targeted for budget cuts by the Trump administration and some say the move is a way to push forward those cuts.

“It seems weirdly punitive,” Sonny Ramaswamy, who served as NIFA’s administrator until his six-year term expired in May, told The Washington Post. “I can’t figure out why they would do this. … There’s no compelling rationale.”

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Category: Policy

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