1. What did CFA expect to uncover through the use of FOIA?
2. If government officials know that they will have to reveal their personal calendars, wouldn’t that potentially chill necessary debate within or outside the agency?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published notice of a proposed rule regulating exposure to Listeria, a dangerous, food-borne bacterium that can be found in ready-to-eat meat and poultry. USDA later issued an interim final rule that Consumer Federation of America (CFA) regarded as significantly weaker than the originally proposed rule. Seeking to learn whether USDA officials had met exclusively, or nearly exclusively, with industry representatives who favored the weakening of the original proposed rule, CFA filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for access to the “public calendars" of five senior USDA officials and one USDA administrative assistant.

  • CreatedNovember 06, 2014
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