NEW YORK – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today officially launched the USDA Branded Food Products Database, a free online resource for families, the food industry and researchers containing nutrition details on more than 80,000 name brand prepared and packaged foods available at restaurants and grocery stores. The announcement was made at the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Summit.
Read More… from Press Release: USDA Announces New Open Data Partnership for Public Health
Missouri Representative Jay Houghton (R-Martinsburg) is sponsoring House Bill 1414, which would make "any data collected for the purpose of animal health or environmental protection" a closed record and therefore exempt from not only Missouri's Sunshine Law, but the federal Freedom of Information Act. He is also chair of the committee.
Read More… from Missouri Representative pushing a house bill making animal health and environmental protection issues exempt from Sunshine Law
Conceal Food Stamp Data
A federal court has ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture cannot keep secret the amount retailers receive for participating in the food stamp program (SNAP).
The case began when the Argus Leader, a South Dakota newspaper, filed a Freedom of Information request about businesses enrolled in the food stamp program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture initially denied the newspaper’s request, but the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently claimed that the department must comply with the request.
Read More… from Court Rules U.S. Government Cannot Conceal Food Stamp Data
A few open government and FOIA news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier:
NFOIC debuts #OpenGovVideos with interviews featuring Ken Bunting and Emily Ramshaw
The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) announced it has introduced #OpenGovVideos, an online video project that will help tell the story of why open government is important to all citizens.
Read More… from NFOIC’s FOI Friday for March 2, 2012