Consumer Group Files FOIA Lawsuit for List of NPIS Participants
Food & Water Watch, a consumer advocacy group, has filed suit
against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food
Safety and Inspection Service over the agencies’ denial of the
group’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests asking for
the names of companies that opted to participate in the New
Poultry Inspection System (NPIS). Food & Water Watch, Inc. v.
U.S. Dep’t of Agric., No. 17-1133 (D.D.C., filed June 9, 2017).
USDA implemented the optional NPIS in an effort to reduce rates
of foodborne illness attributable to chicken and turkey
contaminated with Salmonella and Campylobacter. Food & Water
Watch requested the identities of the companies that chose to
participate in NPIS, but their FOIA requests were denied on the
grounds that “the responsive records consist solely of confidential
future business plans.” Alleging violations of FOIA, the plaintiff is
seeking an order for disclosure of the requested records and