Checkoff groups seek exemption from FOIA

House agriculture appropriations bill includes provision to exempt grower checkoff fees from federal Freedom of Information Act.

The fiscal 2017 funding bill for agricultural programs run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture includes language supported by many agricultural organizations that would exempt from the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) any research and promotion boards funded by grower checkoff fees. The legislation, approved last week by the House Appropriations Committee, is pending full House approval.

The House language currently reads: “The funding used to operate and carry out the a

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