Open government groups urge government to reject farm bill that could keep agriculture information secret

From NFOIC: Open government groups, including NFOIC members and allies, are urging House and Senate conferees to remove provisions from the Farm Bill that provides for increased government secrecy regarding agricultural and livestock operations.

The advocates for transparency sent e-mails and made numerous calls to the offices of conference committee members. NFOIC and 16 of its member groups were among the signers of a letter that went to all conference committee members urging them to strip from the final version provisions that "unnecessarily cut off public access to a broad swath of information" that will become exempt from disclosure under the House version of the bill.

"Members of the public have a right to know about agricultural and livestock operations that affect them, including where such operations are located. This information is especially critical for people who live near or share waterways with concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Yet the language included in the House-passed version of the Farm Bill (HR 2642) requires the government to withhold even basic information about the location of livestock operations," the open government groups wrote in the letter.

Please see the complete letter here (PDF/184KB).