Union of Concerned Scientists

Preserve SNAP benefits in 2023 farm bill, says UCS

Lawmakers should refuse to make any cuts in SNAP, which is expected to be a major issue in drafting the new farm bill, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) said on Tuesday. Congress expanded the so-called work requirement for able-bodied adults enrolled in SNAP as part of debt limit legislation in June, and some House Republicans advocate using the farm bill as a way to place additional restrictions on food stamps.

Spending on climate-smart projects hard to track, says UCS

Meat, dairy, and livestock are likely to get a larger share of the funding than other commodities in the USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program, though it’s hard to track spending on the pilot projects, said a Union of Concerned Scientists blog on Thursday.

Experts: Congress must treat poor nutrition, climate change, and biodiversity loss as interconnected

Addressing the interlinked crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and diet-related disease will require coordinated action, systems thinking, and much more public funding, a panel of scientists, farmers, and advocates told Congress on Wednesday.(No paywall)

Climate change could accelerate soil erosion

U.S. cropland could lose two inches of soil nationwide by 2035 if climate change delivers its expected droughts and floods, said the Union of Concerned Scientists on Thursday. In a report, the group recommended such steps as crop insurance discounts for farmers who adopt practices that reduce erosion and improve soil health.

Poll finds farmers support sustainable agriculture policies

A new poll conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists of more than 2,800 farmers across 7 states found that farmers support more sustainable agriculture policies, including those that support conservation and alternative pathways to market, like food hubs or farm-to-school programs.

Senior Democrat on Senate Ag has ‘strong concerns’ about Clovis’ qualifications

President Trump's choice for USDA chief scientist, college professor Sam Clovis, appears to lack the credentials for the job, said Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the senior Democrat on the Agriculture Committee, which will vote on the nomination. The Union of Concerned Scientists said Clovis, "a vocal climate denier...is an unacceptable and illegal choice for this important role."

A food system that unites

Ricardo Salvador, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, discusses the recent commentary he co-authored, “The Food System Should Unite Us, Not Divide Us.”

Petition drive is launched for national food policy

Along with an essay in the Washington Post, backers of a national food policy are running a petition campaign on the Internet that calls on President Barack Obama to issue an executive order spelling out a policy. The Union of Concerned Scientists, host of a petition site, says a national policy "will transform our food system to ensure healthy, sustainably grown food for all."

Needed: A US food policy, not just a farm policy, says op-ed

In the State of the Union address in January, President Barack Obama "should announce an executive order establishing a national policy for food, health and well-being," write Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, Richardo Salvador and Olivier De Schutter in an essay in the Washington Post.

World’s largest cellulosic refinery opens officially

The Spanish energy company Abengoa opened the world's largest cellulosic refinery in Hugoton, about 90 miles southwest of Dodge City, Kansas, said Biofuels Digest.