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Trump's USDA nominee draws criticism

Nearly 250 organizations have sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee opposing the nomination of Scott Hutchins as chief scientist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The letter, signed by 245 groups representing farming, farmworker, public health, labor, food safety and environmental interests, noted that Hutchins spent more than 30 years of his career working at Dow AgroSciences with a focus on pesticides.

"His strong ties to corporate agribusiness and pesticide companies present serious conflicts that will undoubtedly affect his ability to serve as chief scientist for the USDA," the letter said.

President Donald Trump nominated Hutchins in July. The position has been vacant since Trump took office. The previous nominee, Sam Clovis, a Trump campaign co-chairman, withdrew after several controversies, including questions whether he had sufficient scientific credentials.

To see the letter and the organizations that signed it, visit