Johnathan Hettinger

Johnathan Hettinger

Johnathan Hettinger is an enterprise reporter for Investigate Midwest, focusing on climate change in Illinois.

EPA posts databases of pesticide harm to people, pets and wildlife for first time in agency history

By: - August 4, 2023

​The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week posted searchable databases of pesticide harm for the first time in agency history. The databases, which include reports of harm to people, pets, wildlife and the environment, include information from pesticide companies, state regulators, direct complaints to the EPA and reports to the National Pesticide Information Center and […]

EPA says three widely used pesticides driving hundreds of endangered species toward extinction

By: - July 27, 2023

Clay Bolt went looking for a rusty patched bumblebee, he would head to a city. The wildlife photographer said his best bet would be Minneapolis or Madison, Wisconsin, in a botanical garden or even someone’s backyard — as long as it was far away from crop fields and neonicotinoid pesticides. “It’s kind of ironic. Cities […]

EPA rules popular Seresto flea collar stays on the market, with more reporting requirements

By: - July 17, 2023

The popular Seresto flea and tick collar will remain on the market, but with new mitigation measures, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last week. The EPA announced the measures on the collar after a multi-year analysis of the product’s safety. The agency limited the approval of the collar to five years and required Elanco — […]

Bayer sues Missouri farmers for illegally spraying dicamba, saving and replanting seeds

By: - March 29, 2023

This story was originally published by Investigate Midwest. Bayer is suing four farmers in the Bootheel of Missouri for illegally spraying older versions of dicamba on its genetically-engineered soybeans, as well as doing so after the state’s cutoff date for spraying the herbicide. The lawsuits, filed in January in federal court in the Eastern District […]

EPA plan to transfer Seresto and other pet pesticides to FDA draws concern from advocates

By: - March 27, 2023

This story was originally published by Investigate Midwest. Amid rising concerns over potentially deadly flea and tick collars, the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to transfer regulation of such products to another agency drew skepticism from animal and environmental advocates at a virtual public meeting last week. The proposal and meeting came two years after a USA TODAY/Investigate Midwest story revealed the […]

EPA pushes ahead with transfer of regulation of pet products to FDA

By: - March 13, 2023

This story was originally published by Investigate Midwest.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to relinquish its oversight of pet pesticide products in the wake of criticism for its handling of a popular flea and tick collar linked to more than 100,000 reports of pet injuries and deaths. Its bid to hand the job to the Food […]

Citing concerns about China, states mull limits on foreign ownership of farmland

By: - November 11, 2022

This story was originally published by Investigate Midwest.  Amid growing concern about Chinese investment in U.S. agriculture, there has been a renewed push to limit and more closely monitor foreign ownership of farmland across the country. At least eight states considered implementing a new limit on foreign control of agricultural land, and one, Indiana, passed […]

EPA to ban flea and tick collars linked to brain damage in children

By: - October 17, 2022

This story originally appeared in Investigate Midwest.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will ban the sale of flea and tick collars containing a chemical linked to neurological damage in children, the agency announced last week. The collars, which contain the chemical tetrachlorvinphos, make up more than half of flea and tick collars sold in the U.S., according […]

EPA watchdog launches probe into incidents linked to popular Seresto pet collar

By: - May 23, 2022

This story was originally published by Investigate Midwest. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general is reviewing the agency’s handling of the tens of thousands of reported incidents of harm linked to the Seresto flea-and-tick collar, the agency announced last week. The EPA Office of Inspector General said it plans to determine whether the agency’s response […]

Foreign investment in U.S. cropland nearly tripled in past decade, USDA data shows

By: - April 19, 2022

This story was originally published by Investigate Midwest. Foreign investment in U.S. cropland has nearly tripled in the past decade, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. The total cropland controlled by foreign interests in 2020 was 10.9 million acres, up from 4.1 million acres in 2010. This increase has been largely driven by foreign-owned […]