May 23, 2017

USDA organic cost-share program fails to reach some farmers

Only about half of the nation’s organic operations participate in the USDA’s organic certification cost-share program. Since the program was created in the 2002 Farm Bill, approximately $60 million has been allocated to it. Not all of the allocated funds have been spent, and due to a series of recent hiccups that have kept that money from reaching farmers, a great deal of money allocated in the 2014 Farm Bill remains available.
March 16, 2017

Claiming trade secrets, FDA won’t say who received contaminated fruit

The FDA is refusing to say which companies received recalled shipments of Egyptian strawberries contaminated with Hepatitis B last year — an act the agency defends as protecting companies’ trade secrets.
February 10, 2017

Applause due for APHIS blowback

Let’s hear a round of applause for the journalists and advocates who rushed to the rescue when the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service pulled inspection and enforcement data from its website last week
January 28, 2017

The runaround, the spokesman

On Jan. 25, I filed a FOIA request with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, which in recent days has been under fire for ordering scientists not to speak to the public about their work, then later reversing course and lifting the gag order