AGRIBUSINESS: Lawmakers Create Law Protecting Producer Privacy

As big data and agriculture intersect, American Farm Bureau wants more government regulation concerning privacy. But ag companies are not the only entity that collects farmer data.
Last year the EPA released the information of 80,000 producers of 29 states to three environmental groups because of a Freedom of Information Act request.
In response, U.S. Representatives introduced the Farmer Identity Protection Act to stop EPA from disclosing private and confidential information of livestock and poultry producers to the public.
Right now the EPA does not have the statutory authority to protect producers’ personal information.
National Cattlemen’s Beef association President Bob McCan says there’s no justification for this disregard of producers’ privacy. He says it isn’t just reckless but can pose an agro-terrorism threat.
The three environmental groups that originally filed Freedom of Information Act requests have not yet responded to the introduction of the Farmer Identity Protection Act.
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