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FMI Prevails Against USDA on Disclosure


The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) in a suit against USDA.  The FMI initiated litigation to protect the confidentiality of store-level sales data for retailers selling products to recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  The decision of the Supreme Court reversed a lower court judgment. In its ruling, SCOTUS stated, “At least where commercial or financial information is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner and provided to the government under an assurance of privacy the information is confidential within the meaning of Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act.” 


SCOTUS therefore ruled that store-level SNAP data is confidential. No Federal agency can request confidential information regarding spending by SNAP recipients irrespective of their method of payment.

Copyright © 2020 Simon M. Shane