Steve Volk – Suspended USDA scientist says agency tried to block his research into harmful effects of pesticides

A prominent Agriculture Department scientist is alleging that he was suspended after complaining that the agency was blocking his research into the harmful effects of pesticides on pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.

In a whistleblower complaint filed Wednesday, Jonathan Lund­gren, an entomologist and 11-year veteran of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, says his supervisors retaliated against him by suspending him initially for 30 days before reducing it to 14 days.

The complaint, filed with the federal Merit Systems Protection Board, says his superiors began to “impede or deter his research and resultant publications” more than a year ago. Lundgren has also previously alleged that the agency tried to prevent him from speaking about his findings for political reasons and interfered with his ability to review the research of other scientists.

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