Food & Water Watch Inc. (FWW) has filed a lawsuit alleging that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has “engaged in dilatory and obstructionist tactics” to avoid fulfilling the organization’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on documents related to the establishment of the New Swine Inspection System (NSIS). Food & Water Watch Inc. v. USDA, No. 19-3362 (D.D.C., filed November 7, 2019). FWW argues that USDA has “actually or constructively and unlawfully denied” its requests for “data and other agency records justifying” the NSIS rules “that replace government inspectors with plant employees in performing certain crucial animal and carcass inspections.” The complaint alleges that the defendants “have failed to disclose records responsive to close to half of the originally requested items; have repeatedly ignored attempts to clarify what they have released; have released inaccurate, non-responsive records; have forced FWW to jump over the procedural hurdle of submitting an additional FOIA request instead of amending the one already being processed; and ignored FWW’s requests altogether.”

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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