Back in May, reports about the 18 year old USDA pesticide testing program being eliminated surfaced, and this weekend the Chicago Tribune reported on it which cites budget cuts (specifically $8 million). According to Mark Miller (USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, which administered the program), "We looked at the budget and said, 'We can't do everything we have been doing, and what are we going to get rid of?". "The decision came as a shock to researchers at the Environmental Protection Agency and elsewhere who have come to rely on the data, which measures how much pesticide farmers apply to certain crops each year" according to the Tribune. (The study also determines how much pesticide residue & use is considered safe for consumers).
Check out these articles for more info: The Daily Green, Chicago Tribune and Organic Consumers Association. This is a big deal for consumers who don't already buy organic and even more assurance for people who do.
Image credit: USDA.gov