“USDA to stop collecting data on pesticide use The National Agricultural Statistics Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has announced that it will stop collecting data about the amount of pesticide applied to various crops. The program has been the public’s only source of reliable data on pesticide and fertilizer use for much of the United States. These data showed that pesticide use in engineered corn, soybeans, and cotton was higher than in conventional varieties, even though the biotech industry claimed that engineered crops would need less pesticide. Without the USDA’s data, UCS and other groups will have no way to track this trend into the future and evaluate the biotechnology industry’s claims. The Environmental Protection Agency also relies on the data to determine which chemicals should be regulated. In response to the announcement, 44 scientific, environmental, and sustainable farming groups including UCS have asked the USDA’s Secretary to reverse the decision. Read the letter, or read more from the Associated Press”.
Source: The FEED newsletter from Union of Concerned Scientists, June 2008. FEED is the Food and Environment Electronic Digest.