USDA Reaffirms Science in Decision-making


In an April 26th press release, the USDA reaffirmed a commitment to science-based decision-making.  Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Acting Chief Scientist and Administrator of the ARS and Dr. Scott Hutchins, Deputy Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics attended the G20 meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists held in Tokyo during late March.


Hutchins stated, “I was pleased to see an affirmation of the rule for science-based decision-making for advancing global food production in the communiqué.”  He added, “Globally we are seeing an increase in the use of scientific information in policy-making and it is important that we remain vigilant in our risk-assessment process to ensure that we continue to accelerate innovation in agriculture.”


While there is no doubt as to the commitment and integrity of the Secretary of Agriculture and his immediate subordinates, who incidentally are all “acting” there is trepidation over undue pressure from the White House on policy and issues which may be regarded as politically sensitive.  It must be remembered that the 2017 nominee for the position currently held by Dr. Scott Hutchins was a conservative Mid-west talk show host with no scientific credentials.