Farmer information protection bill introduced in House

One year after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released to environmental activist groups private information on thousands of farmers, the “Farmer Identity Protection Act” (H.R. 4157) was introduced by Reps. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., Lee Terry, R-Neb., Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., and Jim Costa, D-Calif. The bill would prohibit EPA from disclosing to the public the private and confidential information of livestock and poultry producers.

EPA would be limited to disclosing information about farming operations only after all personally identifiable information is removed and after the data are aggregated to prevent the identification of individual livestock and poultry producers and their families. Eight agricultural organizations, including the National Pork Producers Council, sent a letter to the four cosponsors, thanking them for their leadership on the issue. Similar legislation – the “Farmer Identity Protection Act” (S. 1343) – was introduced in the Senate in July by Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.

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