Senators criticize science-related provision in House farm bill

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Dec. 27, 2013 - Thirteen senators recently wrote a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee leaders expressing concerns about the potential impacts of an “anti-science provision” in the House version of the farm bill.

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Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said the provision, known as the “Sound Science Act” would stifle high-quality science and decision-making across the federal government and undermine protections for public health, safety, and the environment.

Section 12307 of (H.R. 2642) would require federal agencies to have in effect guidelines to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of the scientific information upon which the agencies rely.

Supporters say it would require peer review, the disclosure of scientific studies used in making decisions, and an opportunity for stakeholder input.

However, the senators wrote that the provision would block federal scientists from using new techniques and technology, hinder the use of standard scientific tools like observational studies and models, and open the door to endless lawsuits from special interest groups.

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