Relocation of USDA Scientists  

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 lynn
(@lynnventura)
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07/01/2019 9:29 pm  

It looks like the administration is taking yet another wrecking ball to good government by forcibly relocating scientists who do climate and agriculture research from the DC area to Kansas City. Those who refuse to move will be fired. Yet another evil ingenious way to break things that work. This administration isn't failing, it feels wildly successful. Even if democrats are able to win the presidency, they'll spend 8 years just getting to where we were in 2016, if they're lucky. It's so depressing.


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(@lovendures)
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07/01/2019 11:54 pm  

I heard about this when first announced 2 weeks ago.  At the time I thought there was a good chance it wouldn't happen in the end.  Now I am not so sure.  It is very distressing news indeed.


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(@anita)
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07/02/2019 12:30 am  

I just saw this on Rachel Maddow. Not only would the best scientists be moved from DC, but the other ramifications are extremely distressing. Climate change and our

food quality info would be kept from those not following the stories. People would be

malnourished, not knowing the food they always ate before won’t be the same because

of the co 2.   This is another horrifying action!

Anita


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(@deetoo)
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07/02/2019 12:00 pm  

Anita, I also saw that last night on Rachel's show.  Very upsetting news.  Rachel also addressed this topic about a week ago, when she featured one of the scientists who was protesting against this.  This particular scientist from the Dept. of Agriculture had even formed a union.  The Administration has already been burying a lot of these scientific studies and analyses, especially as they relate to climate change.  But I guess that wasn't enough -- they want to quickly relocate these scientists to Kansas City, knowing that many of the scientists will quit rather than quickly uproot their families.  That liar Perdue has no intention of replacing them.  This Administration is  determined to undermine scientific research that doesn't fit with their warped ideas.


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(@gracesinger)
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07/09/2019 11:33 am  

Yes, but one region's loss is another's gain, and we'll take them all gladly.  In the long run, it might be a good thing: their work would be informed by the actual environment of a region responsible for a large portion of the nation's food and they, in turn, would help transform our political infrastructure to better serve that food source.  Energetically, Kansas City is a gateway to the West; the limestone there frees it from the denser energies to the east of it and it's much more western in character.  I don't know how to explain it; when I lived there, I could lift up into the skies at night, watch storms move across the plains, and fly on the wind.  Maybe scientists should be looking more to the West.   


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(@deetoo)
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07/09/2019 1:26 pm  

Gracesinger, I've never been to Kansas City, but I love your description.  You raise some interesting and thoughtful ideas.  Maybe in the long run, it will be a good thing.  But for now, I feel badly for these scientists.  Many of them  moved to the DC area with their families and don't want to be uprooted, especially considering the short notice.  And I firmly believe that T**** is hoping that many of them will quit.  The Administration is trying to muzzle these scientists from releasing any findings they don't agree with, especially related to climate change.   What better way to do that than by uprooting their lives?  


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(@sidwich)
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07/09/2019 8:26 pm  

That's an interesting point about Kansas City, but in the shorter-term, it doesn't even sound like there's a building for the scientists at the moment, so it doesn't even sound like there's any place for the scientists to do any real work out there.  And that's leaving aside the question of whether there are any laboratory facilities so they can do, ya know, scientific work.

(I don't have any friends at the USDA, but I have several friends who are scientists, and I have learned over time that getting a lab up and running is no small feat.  It can take months, and sometimes years to get a lab up and running for real specialized scientific work, so that fact that they're shipping scientists out there with no facility for them to work in is... heartbreaking.)

 


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(@gracesinger)
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07/15/2019 10:06 pm  

Just watched Rachel, and I apologize; four out of the five scientists won't be coming, and the devastation to the scientific community is horrendous.  The lack of facilities and so on are significant issues as Deetoo and Sidwich point out.  What scientist wants to raise her or his kids in schools that teach creationism?  What an appalling political move … among too many.


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(@jeanne-mayell)
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07/25/2019 7:17 pm  
Posted by: @lynnventura

It looks like the administration is taking yet another wrecking ball to good government by forcibly relocating scientists who do climate and agriculture research from the DC area to Kansas City. Those who refuse to move will be fired. Yet another evil ingenious way to break things that work. This administration isn't failing, it feels wildly successful. Even if democrats are able to win the presidency, they'll spend 8 years just getting to where we were in 2016, if they're lucky. It's so depressing.

One major role the USDA plays is as a watchdog over food safety  practices -- to keep the food safe for us to eat. It began in 1904 when Upton Sinclair wrote a novel The Jungle exposing the horrors of the slaughterhouses. Virtually overnight, the public demanded the government inspect the meat industry for safety - both for the workers and for the public who eats the meat. People were dying from infected meat and poultry. 

After that, the USDA began to oversee how livestock are raised, slaughtered, and packaged for market so the meat people eat from supermarkets and restaurants is safe to eat.  The USDA  put a Stamp of Approval on all meat sold. Only meat and poultry that has received a Stamp of Approval can be sold in the markets.  

But 75 years later, when Ronald Rethuglican Reagan (R) became president, he dramatically reduced the USDA food inspectors saying that the food industry could monitor itself!   USDA officials who protested were reassigned into silence.

I spent many months researching this issue for the Atlantic and they published it in a story called "Dirty Chicken" in my maiden name (Bruce).  I flew to D.C. and met with the most famous of those disenfranchised meat inspectors who'd been reassigned to a desk in an empty room. 

The gist was that Reagan, another entertainer president, left the USDA Stamp of Approval on the food but dramatically reduced the oversight.

So the Stamp of Approval became a phony marketing device for the food industry rather than a true reflection that the food was safe to eat.  

My story was published in 1990.  Someone published a book on the subject last year that quoted my article extensively, saying that the situation has not changed in the thirty years since my story came out.

Today with Trump, there will be another reduction in USDA oversight. This is the Rethuglican way. 


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(@gracesinger)
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07/27/2019 10:51 am  

Geeze Louise, Jeanne … sent my Scorpio moon into a nose dive and head bounce … suddenly, so many connections become majorly suspicious.  It makes sense to move the source of government oversight into the hands of corporate agribusiness!  The players are really, really nasty--Cargill, Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Tyson … polluters of every living thing human, nonhuman, and all things earth for profit.  What's on the horizon?  Severe and unpredictable weather, decreased water supply, decreased land use, cheap labor on the move; it makes sense that these corporate players want to maintain the kleptocracy that has evolved since white immigration.  Ahhh!  Argh.  Leaping off into nefarious plots, it also makes sense that a Senate funded by corporate interests would want to establish a Supreme Court and federal courts that are friendly to corporate interests so that these corporations can't be sued for just about everything they do.


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