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USDA Punished Bee Expert Turned Whistle-blower For Researching Pesticides
Mintpressnews.com reports: After Entomologist Jonathan Lundgren began to study how neonicotinoid insecticides affect bees and other beneficial insects. His research and work travel fell under intense scrutiny and he was suspended for violating agency protocols. A top federal bee scientist from South Dakota says he’s being punished for publicizing work on pesticides and pollinators. Jonathan Lundgren’s research found bees and monarch butterflies can be harmed by a widely used class of insecticides. In a whistleblower case filed Wednesday, the United States Agriculture Department entomologist alleges he faced retaliation because of his research. “Once he started publishing this work, he went from golden boy to pariah, and that’s what this case is about,” said Jeff Ruch, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which is representing Lundgren in his complaint to a federal whistleblower protection board. Lundgren’s 11-year career at USDA appeared stellar. He had excellent performance reviews. USDA even named him its Outstanding Early Career Research Scientist in 2011. The complaint says that all changed when Lundgren began to study how neonicotinoid insecticides affect bees and other beneficial insects. His research and work travel fell under intense scrutiny and he was suspended for violating agency protocols...
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