WASHINGTON (CN) – The D.C. Circuit ordered the government to disclose a database of crop information about the Department of Agriculture’s agricultural subsidy and benefit programs, ruling that the information is “of particular and significant interest” to taxpayers.
In 2005 Multi Ag Media filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Farm Service Agency, seeking the release of 13 databases related to the agency’s programs. When the agency denied the request, Multi Ag filed a complaint to compel disclosure.
The appeals court ruled that disclosure of crop information could violate individual privacy rights because not all farms are owned by large companies. But the government must disclose one database and a compliance file, since the public has a right to know how federal taxpayer money is being distributed.