The Senate version of the 2007 Farm Bill has some downright hostile provisions toward disclosure. Proposed section 10305 of the Livestock Title dealing with the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)– the system that tracks diseased animals through the commercial food chain– would exempt all records from both the federal Freedom of Information Act and from state and local sunshine laws.
Making matters even worse, "use" of information from the NAIS, including publication in a news report, is illegal under the act, subject to penalties of up to $500,000 and 10 years behind bars. These provisions are not in the already-passed House version of the bill. Open government advocates, including the Society of Environmental Journalists, OpenTheGovernment.org and the Reporters Committee, are calling for the Senate to stand up for transparency and strike the secrecy sections.