U.S. Department of Agriculture officials have rescinded an order that barred its researchers from releasing “public-facing documents,” ranging from news releases and photos to social media posts.
Reports about the order, which first arose on BuzzFeed News, sparked widespread complaints on Jan. 24 about a Trump administration crackdown – particularly in light of similar limits that were placed on communications from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Late that day, the USDA issued a statement saying that the original email from ARS chief of staff Sharon Drumm “was released without Departmental direction, and prior to Departmental guidance being issued.”
“ARS will be providing updated direction to its staff,” the statement said. “ARS values and is committed to maintaining the free flow of information between our scientists and the American public.”