ARLINGTON, VA - FMI – The Food Industry Association strongly opposes legislation, the Open and Responsive Government Act, introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley, Patrick Leahy and Dianne Feinstein. Leslie Sarasin, president and chief executive officer, offered comment:

“In 2019, FMI sought to protect the confidentiality of store-level sales data for retailers who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media (6-3) clarified the Freedom of Information Act’s (FOIA) Exemption 4 to prevent the disclosure of confidential commercial information that would put businesses at competitive disadvantages. Unfortunately, this bill would bring back the complex test that was rejected by every member of the Supreme Court. Legislative history tells us FOIA was created to shine a light on actions by the government, not on that of private parties.”

“Our industry’s commitment to the shopper remains constant amidst seismic marketplace shifts. The nation’s grocery stores have long kept confidential the amount consumers spend at individual stores whether through payment by cash, credit, debit or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. This store-level sales data collected by the government to facilitate these benefits remains undoubtedly confidential because its release would provide an unfair advantage to competitors – particularly those without brick and mortar locations in the area.”  

More information on Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media at