Trump Administration Puts Gag Order on Federal Agencies

By Food Safety Tech Staff

Employees of several agencies, including the USDA, have been told to refrain from talking to the press and the public.

After only a few days in office, President Trump and his administration have placed a gag order on federal agencies, including the USDA and EPA. Workers are barred from communicating with the press, the public or members of Congress, according to several outlets. A memo was reportedly sent to the EPA, instructing the agency not to publish any press releases, social media posts or blogs until told otherwise.

The Washington Post  reports that the chief of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Sharon Drumm sent an email to staff stating, “Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents. This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content.” However, another memo sent out today by USDA Acting Deputy Administrator Michael Young said that he did not review the ARS guidance and would not have sent out such a draft. According to the Post, “his guidance does not place a gag order on publication to scientific journals, does not place a blanket freeze on press releases, or prohibit food safety announcements.”

Earlier this week, President Trump nominated Sonny Perdue, former governor of Georgia, to lead the USDA.

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  1. Jean-Luc

    If trump’s intent is to lower food standard by either removing some food regulation or not funding enough some regulation agencies in charge of enforcing FSMA, then more likely he will prevent countries especially in EU to open heir market to US food manufacturers.

  2. Tom de L

    A copy of the interim procedures memo, dated Jan. 23 shows many of the steps reflect either the same or similar measures taken by the previous administration. It simply centralizes the agency’s media inquiries and social media presence through the Office of the Secretary.
    I wish the above respondents checked the details before replying, instead of reflecting their own prejudices on this positive step.
    An EU citizen.

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