Sending Office: Honorable Chellie Pingree
American Society for Horticultural Science, American Society for Nutrition and Dietetics, American Statistical Association, Asian Services in Action, Inc., Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Child
Care Aware® of America, Consortium of Social Science Associations, Consumer Federation of America, Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics, Federation of Animal Science Societies, First Focus Campaign for Children, Institute for Agriculture
and Trade Policy, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, MomsRising, Mycobacterial Diseases of Animals Multi-state Initiative, National Turfgrass Federation, National Farmers Union, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition,
National WIC Association, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Organic Farming Research Foundation, Organic Seed Alliance, Rural Sociological Society, Union of Concerned Scientists
Please join me in supporting HR 1221: The Agriculture Research Integrity Act (ARIA) to protect the important agriculture research carried out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has
proposed moving the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Economic Research Service (ERS) out of the Washington, D.C., area, in addition to shifting authority of ERS from the Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics to the Office
of the Secretary.
The FY19 bipartisan omnibus appropriations bill directed USDA to provide a timely cost-benefit analysis of this plan. Additionally, USDA’s Office of the Inspector General is currently completing a report on the legality of the reorganization and relocation
plan. Meanwhile, employees have already started
leaving the agencies.
Despite all of this, USDA is still moving forward with this misguided plan and
announced the top three finalists last week.
The scientific research that our agriculture industry depends on should not be dictated by whoever is in office at the time, nor should be it be hollowed out when we need it the most. The proposed relocation and reorganization of NIFA and ERS unnecessarily
threatens the integrity and robustness of their critical work. Over 50 current and former university agricultural administration leaders and former USDA chief scientists have voiced
their opposition to this proposal.
ARIA would both require the USDA to keep the agencies within the capital area and keep ERS within the purview of the Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics so it can remain free of politicization.
Please contact Kelliann Blazek on my staff for more information or to cosponsor the legislation (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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