Three nominations for senior USDA posts overseeing research, food safety, and civil rights died with the 115th Congress on Wednesday, and the path forward for those nominations in the two-year session that opened on Thursday is unclear.
The Senate Agriculture Committee cleared three USDA nominees for a floor vote on Wednesday, but significant Democratic opposition could prevent a confirmation vote this year on Naomi Earp, President Trump’s pick to be the agency’s assistant secretary for civil rights.
When cell-based meat appears in grocery stores, it should be labeled so that consumers know it came from a lab and not from livestock, two cattle-state senators told the Trump administration’s nominee to run the USDA’s food safety unit on Wednesday.
Texas Tech professor Mindy Brashears, President Trump’s nominee for agriculture undersecretary for food safety, collected $100,000 as an expert witness for Beef Products Inc. in its defamation lawsuit against ABC-TV last year.
On Tuesday, the leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee announced that three of President Trump’s nominees have received Senate approval to begin work at the USDA and the CFTC.
Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee are scheduled to vote Tuesday on two Trump administration nominees, Dan Berkovitz to be a CFTC commissioner and James Hubbard to be agriculture undersecretary for natural resources.
Lifelong forester James Hubbard told senators on Tuesday that if he is confirmed as agriculture undersecretary for natural resources, he will personally combat sexual harassment in the 32,000-member Forest Service.
The Senate should reject President Trump’s nomination of DowDuPont executive Scott Hutchins for USDA chief scientist, said Food and Water Watch on Wednesday, calling him “a particularly egregious gift to the chemical industry that imperils our food system from field to plate.”
Scott Hutchins, an executive at DowDuPont, is President Trump’s choice for USDA chief scientist, announced the White House on Monday. The post of chief scientist, which doubles as undersecretary for research, has been vacant since Trump took office.