Ag Policy/Food Prices

Consumer, Public Health Groups Tell Congress Not to Shield Industry from Taxpayer Scrutiny

CFA joined a coalition of consumer and public health groups in opposing a House bill that would prevent the Department of Agriculture from releasing sales data related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly referred to as food stamps. Recently, a federal court ruled that USDA must disclose the annual sales amounts that retailers in the federal food stamp program earn each year, in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act. The ruling is good news for consumers, public health practitioners, and taxpayers alike, as the sales information offers important insights into the efficacy of government programs designed to improve nutrition. The proposed legislation, Section 768 of the FY2019 Agriculture and Rural Development Appropriations Bill, would not only block the courts’ decision at the behest of industry, it would prohibit a broad range of disclosures, potentially hampering longstanding USDA data sharing practices.

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