A Washington-based environmental group says nearly a quarter of the research money at land-grant universities came from the private sector in 2010. A study by Food and Water Watch says the money from corporations, trade associations and foundations has reached an all-time high. Meanwhile, USDA’s research contributions account for less than 15 percent of the research dollars, the lowest level in nearly 20 years.
The report entitled “Public Research, Private Gain” says the trend has steered land-grant research toward the goals of private industry. The paper states: “Private-sector funding not only corrupts the public research mission of land-grant universities, but also distorts the science that is supposed to help farmers improve their practices and livelihoods.”
The group is calling on Congress to “restore the public agricultural research mission at land-grant schools” in the next farm bill.
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