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Trump EPA rewrote and deleted warnings in scientific papers to get Monsanto herbicide approved

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30.05.2021

There really was no silver lining to this country’s four-year sentence under the kakistocracy of the Trump administration. Beyond a huge, unnecessary tax cut lapped up by a tiny slice of this country’s wealthiest, no affirmative act stands out as actually benefiting American citizens; very nearly every action it took was laced with corruption, self-interest, and habitual, routine disregard for the American public. Perhaps if one were to search for a silver lining, it might be that the Trump administration provided a clear, unmistakable picture of what government by a political party solely bent on looting the public coffers actually looks like in practice.

Nowhere was this more apparent than in the behavior of those who Donald Trump appointed to run our taxpayer-funded federal agencies. As the Biden administration enters its sixth month of repairing the damage caused by Trump’s political appointees, stories continue to emerge that reveal just how insidious their efforts were. At the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an agency nominally created to preserve and protect the environment, those stories have started to take on a Kafka-esque quality as time passes and more and more incidents come to light.

It’s impossible to separate the intended function and operation of the EPA from scientific discipline and scientific research. But under the Trump administration, respect and attention to science invariably collided with political ideology and opportunistic greed. When faced with obstacles to its political agenda from science, the administration’s response usually consisted of ignoring the science or pretending it didn’t exist. But when those strategies failed to yield a desired result, the next tactic, as we are now seeing, was to rewrite the science itself.

As reported by Rachel Frazin for The Hill:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientists told the agency’s internal watchdog that scientific analyses were changed in favor of top officials’ policy choices in the 2018 reapproval of a pesticide, according to a new report.

The inspector general's office said in the report published Monday that scientists in the Office of Pesticide Programs gave examples of such actions in interviews in the reapproval of the pesticide dicamba.

Multiple scientists said and emails showed that after a senior management review, the assistant administrator’s office gave scientists an outline for rewriting an impact analysis document that removed several sections of the original, the watchdog said.

Dicamba is a potent herbicide, primarily a weed-killer, that has been registered in the U.S. since 1967. It is used in agricultural, industrial, and residential settings. Like most herbicides, it is far from harmless, having been linked to increased........

© Daily Kos


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