Prompted by the release of personal data on thousands of livestock and poultry farmers to activists, Sens. Charles Grassley (Iowa) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.) introduced legislation that would restrict the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from releasing such records again.
Introduction of the Farmer Identity Protection Act (S. 1343) stems from the EPA's release of personal information on more than 80,000 livestock and poultry producers across the country to three activist groups, Grassley and Donnelly said in a news release.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) said the environmental groups obtained the information through Freedom of Information Act requests in February and April. The release divulged names, addresses, geographic coordinates and in some cases telephone numbers and email addresses of producers in 29 states, NCBA said.
The legislation would give the EPA the ability to prevent such farm-specific releases from happening in the future, allowing the agency to provide information to outside parties only in aggregate or with the producer's consent.
"As a producer whose information was blatantly given to the recognized enemies of the U.S. beef industry, it comes as a relief to have this legislation introduced," said J.D. Alexander, NCBA past president.
Reprinted in part from meatingplace.com