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House language in farm bill called ‘anti-science’

Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling a provision buried in the House version of December’s farm bill “anti-science”. They are warning that the language could stifle high-quality science and decision-making across federal agencies and undermine protections for public health, safety, and the environment.

The language, dubbed the Sound Science Act, would block federal scientists from using new techniques and technology, and hinder the use of standard scientific tools such as observational studies and models, these Democrats assert.

In a letter sent to leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee on 20 December, Senator Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and 12 of his colleagues suggested that this provision could be used to exclude research involving one-time events, such as studies on the effects of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

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