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FYI what USDA scientists aren't allowed to talk about without admin. approval...

  • To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
  • Subject: [CHAT] FYI what USDA scientists aren't allowed to talk about without admin. approval...
  • From: "Marge Talt" <mtalt@hort.net>
  • Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 02:34:51 -0500

FYI, this list of items that can't be published or spoken of by USDA
staff scientists without approval from the current administration is
the last page of a 46 page report by the Union of Concerned
Scientists entitled:

An Investigation into the Bush Administration s Misuse of Science
Scientific Integrity in Policymaking

The report is not something anyone concerned with our environment or
public well-being wants to read on a full stomach.  It can be
downloaded at:


I have copied and pasted the following after Margaret sent me a
message pointing me to the report as a matter that might be of
interest.  I thought it was and so am sharing it with you
guys....some of you may find it of interest as well.

The following is an internal USDA document issued in February 2002
that accompanied a directive
to USDA staff scientists to seek prior approval before publishing any
research or speaking publicly on sensitive issues".  The document
was supplied by Dr. James Zahn, then on staff at USDA.

USDA Sensitive Issue  List  Appendix B

List of Sensitive Issues for ARS Manuscript Review and Approval by
National Program Staff -February 2002 (Revised)

1.Creation of transgenic food or feed organisms by genetic
2.Studies of genetically engineered organisms in the field.
3.Cloning of animals by somatic cell nuclear transfer.
4.Somatic cell fusion to recombine DNA in ways that cannot be
achieved through sexual crossing.
5.Dioxin research.
6.Plant,microbial and animal patent policy.
7.Agricultural practices with negative health and environmental
consequences, eg., global climate change; contamination of water by
hazardous materials (nutrients, pesticides, and pathogens); animal
feeding operations or crop production practices that negatively
impact soil, water, or air quality.
8.Boll weevil eradication program.
9.International plant germplasm policies.
10.Research findings and recommendations that are contrary to current
dietary guidelines or may be used in food labeling.
11.Megadoses of nutrients that may be beneficial to human
12.Radiolytic products in food.
13.Harmful microorganisms and their products (e.g., aflatoxin,
mycotoxin, fumonisin, Salmonella, E.Coli) in agricultural
14.Pesticides or animal drugs in foods above approved tolerance
15.All transmissible encephalopathy (TSE) research including BSE
16.Herbicide-resistant crop plant research.
17.Animal well-being/animal use.
18.Biological items that may affect trade and export negotiations,
e.g., fire blight in apples, TCK smut, karnal bunt, insect
infestations in export products, etc.
19.Narcotic plant control.
20.Methyl bromide topics that relate to policy and/or regulatory
21.Medfl y/Malathion replacements.
22.Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance.
23.Bioterrorism/Attacks on Agriculture.
24.Glassy-winged sharshooter/Pierce's disease.
25.Sudden Oak Death.
26.Citrus Stem Canker.
28.Emerging diseases or pest research that relates to policy and/or
regulatory actions.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
Current Article: Battling Bambi
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