Judge green lights whistleblower claim against USDA by pesticide researcher

The Washington Post recently reported that a prominent scientist in the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service has just cleared the first hurdle in an ongoing whistleblower claim against the agency.
According to reporter Steve Volk, Judge Patricia M. Miller rejected the USDA’s request to dismiss research entomologist Jonathan Lundgren’s complaint as “frivolous.” The USDA had argued that Lundgren’s complaint was based purely on “speculative and unsupported” allegations.
Miller, an administrative judge with the Merit Systems Protection Board, also set a Jan. 6 status conference for the case and ordered both parties to come prepared to talk about a possible settlement.

Lundgren’s whistleblower claim alleges that supervisors acted to “deter and impede” his work after he began to conduct research and give interviews suggesting pesticides pose a threat to pollinators, like butterflies and bees, according to a statement by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which filed the complaint on his behalf.

Read the entire article at WashingtonPost.com.

print