Action sought on Farm Bill amendment that would exempt factory farms from Freedom of Information Act

Dear CAFO colleagues:

I just got word that the terrible Farm Bill Amendment #970 proposed by Grassley-Donnelly could go to a vote as soon as tomorrow. The amendment would exempt factory farms from the Freedom of Information Act so that EPA would not be able to release any information about them to the public as it relates to any of their environmental regulations (e.g., the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, CERCLA, EPCRA, etc.).

If passed, the law would have far reaching consequences for our work and would shield vital information that the public relies on to ensure our environment is protected from factory farm pollution. Just think about  the implications if we were unable to obtain information about CAFOs under the Freedom of Information Act!!

Luckily Senator Ben Cardin (MD) has introduced a side-by-side amendment that will hopefully be voted on as an alternative to Senator Grassley’s Amendment. It balances Freedom of Information to protect the public, but also respects information personal in nature.

The Grassley-Donnely Amendment should be opposed and Senator Cardin’s Amendment should be supported by folks who care about CAFO issues and want to continue to know basic information about industrial farms that affect their communities health and wellbeing.

Please call your Senator and ask him/her to support Senator Cardin’s Amendment #1159 to the Farm Bill and pass this alert on to your contacts.  It could be voted on soon!

Danielle Diamond

PS.  Senator Durbin (IL) has been on our side, so calls to him should be to thank him for supporting the right to know basic info about CAFOs. Senator McKaskill (MO), Senator Harkin (IA) and Senator Baldwin (WI) are still undecided and want to hear from constituents before taking a vote, so please get the word out to your contacts in their states!

This article below briefly explains the differences on the comparison of the Amendments:

For additional information on the comparison of the Amendments click the link below

Posted June 6, 2013

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