The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on workers in meat and poultry processing facilities across the country. In May 2020, Public Citizen submitted a FOIA request to the USDA for records relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the health and safety of workers at meat and poultry processing facilities. More than one year later, USDA had failed to complete its production of records, despite granting Public Citizen’s request for expedited processing. Moreover, USDA heavily redacted those records that it produced, invoking FOIA exemptions 4, 5, and 6.
In May 2021, Public Citizen filed suit to compel USDA to complete its production of the requested records and disclose information that it wrongfully withheld.