A crop duster sprays a field with pesticides. Former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren says that he has been persecuted by the agency because his research points out problems with popular pesticides.
For the past several years, a scientist in Brookings, S.D., has been engaged in an escalating struggle with his employer, the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. The scientist, Jonathan Lundgren, says that he has been persecuted because his research points out problems — including harm to bees — with a popular class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. The USDA, for its part, accuses the scientist of various professional misdeeds, including insubordination and inappropriate behavior in the office.