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Privacy rights top priority for American Farm Bureau Federation

July 23, 2013 at 2:23 a.m.


The right to privacy is a top concern for Texas farmers and ranchers, and the American Farm Bureau Federation is doing its part to ensure that priority.

The federation recently took legal action to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from publicly releasing personal information about thousands of farm and ranch families, according to a Victoria County Farm Bureau news release.

The environmental agency was about to respond to several Freedom of Information Act requests asking the EPA to disclose personal information, prompting the farm bureau to file a lawsuit and seek a temporary restraining order.

"It's troubling that government knows the most intimate details of your family, finances and business," said George Hood, president of the Victoria County Farm Bureau. "It's downright alarming when they release that information to those who might do you harm."

As a result of that legal action, EPA has agreed to hold off on responding to these requests until the lawsuit is resolved in court.

"We hope that the court sees eye-to-eye with AFBF and reins in this craziness," Hood said. "Farmers and ranchers not only work on the farm, they and their families live there, too. Releasing their personal information to the world is an invasion of privacy."

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