Monday, September 14, 2015

USDA sued for violating FOIA, denying Americans the right to know the harmful effects of GMOs

e(NaturalNews) A food activist organization has filed suit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, alleging that one of its agencies is in violation of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provisions after failing to provide requested documents.

The Center for Food Safety, in its suit against the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, said the agency has ignored FOIA requests for records related to genetically engineered crops by unlawfully delaying responses and withholding public disclosure of information.

As reported by Sustainable Pulse, the suit charges that APHIS has failed to provide timely responses to at least 29 separate FOIA requests or appeals. In addition, the suit claims that of those cases, the agency has failed to provide a final response to ten requests and two appeals.

The suit is asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to order APHIS to promptly provide the center with requested information and to further order the agency to end its practice of failing to respond in a timely manner to future FOIA requests for GMO-related data.

Violating the public’s right to know

“APHIS has a track record of irresponsible and inadequate regulation of GE crops. In the absence of thorough government oversight, public access to information about these crops becomes all the more critical,” said Cristina Stella, staff attorney for Center for Food Safety. “This lawsuit is necessary to stop APHIS from continuing to ignore its duty to provide the public with information that affects farmers, communities, and the environment.”

As Sustainable Pulse reported, GMO crops have caused agronomic and environmental damage, including the transgenic contamination of traditional and organic crops. In addition, studies show they can have negative health implications.
Here are just a few examples:
  • In 2010, we reported on a study that found three approved GMO crops were linked to organ damage, and all three were manufactured by Monsanto;
Read more