The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has filed a complaint in a New York federal court seeking an order that would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to respond to the organization’s request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for documents on “the agency’s proposed deregulation of herbicide-resistant crops.” NRDC v. USDA, No. 12-0795 (S.D.N.Y., filed February 6, 2012). According to the complaint, USDA “is currently considering petitions to deregulate several herbicide-resistant varieties of corn and soybeans, which, if granted, would significantly increase usage of the herbicides to which those genetically modified [GM] crops are resistant.”

NRDC apparently submitted a FOIA request to USDA in October 2011, seeking
records concerning the proposed agency action, as well as a “fee waiver on
the grounds that disclosure of the requested information is in the public
interest.” The deadline for a response, according to NRDC, was November 15,
but USDA has not yet allegedly responded nor has it made a determination on the fee waiver request. The organization seeks a declaration that USDA has
violated FOIA, an injunction ordering USDA to provide the requested records,
the grant of its request for a fee waiver, and an award of costs and attorney’s fees.

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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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