United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Apr 05, 2020
Books and records
All parties to any marketing agreement, and all handlers subject to an order, shall severally, from time to time, upon the request of the Secretary, furnish him with such information as he finds to be necessary to enable him to ascertain and determine the extent to which such agreement or order has been carried out or has effectuated the declared policy of this chapter and with such information as he finds to be necessary to determine whether or not there has been any abuse of the privilege of exemptions from the antitrust laws. Such information shall be furnished in accordance with forms of reports to be prescribed by the Secretary. For the purpose of ascertaining the correctness of any report made to the Secretary pursuant to this subsection, or for the purpose of obtaining the information required in any such report, where it has been requested and has not been furnished, the Secretary is authorized to examine such books, papers, records, copies of income-tax reports, accounts, correspondence, contracts, documents, or memoranda, as he deems relevant and which are within the control (1) of any such party to such marketing agreement, or any such handler, from whom such report was requested or (2) of any person having, either directly or indirectly, actual or legal control of or over such party or such handler or (3) of any subsidiary of any such party, handler, or person.
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 607 of this title, all information furnished to or acquired by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to this section, as well as information for marketing order programs that is categorized as trade secrets and commercial or financial information exempt under section 552(b)(4) of title 5 from disclosure under section 552 of such title, shall be kept confidential by all officers and employees of the Department of Agriculture and only such information so furnished or acquired as the Secretary deems relevant shall be disclosed by them, and then only in a suit or administrative hearing brought at the direction, or upon the request, of the Secretary of Agriculture, or to which he or any officer of the United States is a party, and involving the marketing agreement or order with reference to which the information so to be disclosed was furnished or acquired. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, any such information relating to a marketing agreement or order applicable to milk may be released upon the authorization of any regulated milk handler to whom such information pertains. The Secretary shall notify the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate and the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives not later than 10 legislative days before the contemplated release under law, of the names and addresses of producers participating in such marketing agreements and orders, and shall include in such notice a statement of reasons relied upon by the Secretary in making the determination to release such names and addresses. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit (A) the issuance of general statements based upon the reports of a number of parties to a marketing agreement or of handlers subject to an order, which statements do not identify the information furnished by any person, or (B) the publication by direction of the Secretary, of the name of any person violating any marketing agreement or any order, together with a statement of the particular provisions of the marketing agreement or order violated by such person. Any such officer or employee violating the provisions of this section shall upon conviction be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for not more than one year, or to both, and shall be removed from office.
If an order is in effect with respect to cranberries, the Secretary of Agriculture may require persons engaged in the handling or importation of cranberries or cranberry products (including producer-handlers, second handlers, processors, brokers, and importers) to provide such information as the Secretary considers necessary to effectuate the declared policy of this chapter, including information on acquisitions, inventories, and dispositions of cranberries and cranberry products.
The Secretary may delegate the authority to carry out subparagraph (A) to any committee that is responsible for administering an order covering cranberries.
Paragraph (2) shall apply to information provided under this paragraph.
Any person who violates this paragraph shall be subject to the penalties provided under section 608c(14) of this title.
cite as: 7 USC 608d