USDA Stop Funding Pro-Pesticide Groups

The Alliance for Food and Farming is a California trade association which set up a website called SafeFruitandVeggies.com, “a source for science based information about pesticide residues.” The site is an advertisement for pesticides. Sourcewatch describes the Alliance as a “front group for the fruit and vegetable industry” which claims that a number of pesticides are safe. The claims on the Alliance’s website are backed up by scientists such as Dr. Penny Fenner-Crisp, who worked for the International Life Sciences Institute, which receives funding by corporations industrial agriculture corporations ConAgra and Archer Daniels Midland.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) gave a $180,000 grant to the Alliance last fall. The money came from California’s $17.5 million portion of the USDA’s Specialty Crops Block Grant program, set up by Congress in 2004.

The Environmental Working Group sent a petition this week to the USDA with over 50,000 signatures objecting to the department’s grant to the Alliance. The money came from California’s $17.5 million portion of the USDA’s Specialty Crops Block Grant program, set up by Congress in 2004.

The Alliance for Food and Farming said in September it will use the grant for “correcting misconceptions about pesticide residues.” The Alliance also said that “claims by activist groups about unsafe levels of pesticides have been widely reported in the media for many years, but have largely gone uncontested.” For that reason, the Alliance set up the website, SafeFruitandVeggies, with the goal to “generate more balanced media reporting and change public perception about the safety of produce when it comes to pesticide residues.”

“We have rarely seen such a strong response from our supporters,” EWG President Ken Cook said. “More people are signing this petition by the hour, but we want to communicate immediately to USDA that these government data belong to everyone, not just to the industry.”

Photo from the justified sinner via flickr

26 comments

Azel Beckner
Azle B6 years ago

The Presidential influence in some bureaus and departments is strong. The head of the department is appointed.

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Sebastian James
Sebastian J6 years ago

The USDA and FWS have always been pro-industry, and will continue so. USDA certified means the producer has influence.

Truthfully, though, it's very hard to fight the big bucks peope of agribusiness. We can but do our conscience and keep trying.

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Tracy P.
Desmond A6 years ago

I just read an article about the "dead zone" in the gulf from the runoff of agricultural pesticides and toxins coming down the mississippi and killing the plankton and reefs and all life in the gulf the size of New Jersey. When are we going to stop poisoning ourselves and everything around us? Government Agencies have become agencies for corporate america. No more clean air, clean water and and safe food because corporate greed RULES.

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Eileen Novak
Eileen Novak6 years ago

Who's side are they on? Doh! The side with money.

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Bernadette P.
Berny p6 years ago

Some pesticides are safe?

Go and live in china and you will see the results.....and China is not the only one....
What people dont know......cant harm them!!!!!!!!

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Delanee Ramdon
.6 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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May Howie
may Howie6 years ago

an old saying "Money is the root of all evil"

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Manuela C.
Manuela C6 years ago

Some pesticides are safe? Yeah, right...

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Linda Jarsky
Linda Jarsky6 years ago

As if I trust the USDA to be truthful and upright in their actions and/or labeling.....NOT!!

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Cat Weatherup
Past Member 6 years ago

Signed! Thank you for this article.

(you might want to edit the third paragraph... repeating sentence.)

Akmal, some of us would rather have a few bugs in our food than poison, and there is NOT only one way. You, my friend, are brainwashed.

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