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From: TSS ()
Date: July 2, 2007 at 7:21 am PST

July 1, 2007, 10:50PM
Agencies slow in responding to FOIA requests
They often take months or years to reply to requests for information under the law

New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Freedom of Information Act requires a federal agency to provide an initial response to a request within 20 days and to provide the documents in a timely manner.

But the oldest pending request uncovered in a new survey of 87 agencies and departments has been awaiting a response for 20 years, and 16 other requesters have been waiting for more than 15 years for results.

The survey, to be released today, is the latest proof of a fact well-known to historians and journalists who regularly seek government documents: Agencies often take months or years to respond to requests for information under the law, known as FOIA, which went into effect July 4, 1967.

"The law is 40 years old, and we're seeing 20 years of delay," said Thomas S. Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, a research group at George Washington University.

The group, itself among the most prolific requesters under the act, conducted the survey with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The survey will be posted at

The survey found that 10 federal agencies had misrepresented their backlog of FOIA requests in annual reports to Congress, misstating the age of their oldest pending request.

It found that the State Department accounted for most of the oldest unanswered requests, with 10 requests filed in 1991 or earlier still awaiting responses.

The public interest in some aging government documents was vividly illustrated last week, when the CIA released the so-called family jewels, papers that described illegal wiretaps, assassination plots and other agency misdeeds from the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s.

The documents were the subject of front-page newspaper reports and extensive television coverage.

The papers were first requested by the National Security Archive in 1992, and a cover letter accompanying the CIA release identified that request as the intelligence agency's oldest still pending.


The oldest pending Freedom of Information Act request was sent May 5, 1987, to the State Department by lawyers for the Church of Scientology seeking any information the department had gathered about the church or about cults.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr." <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2007 2:37 PM

Greetings BSE-L Members,

I thought I might update you on the latest BSeee from USDA on my endless attempts to find the truth as to what those mad sheep of mad river valley really had, either typical scrapie, atypical scrapie, BSE, and or nothing. My endeavors to get this information via FOIA and through every other avenue has failed it seems. YOU will see in this latest letter from the USDA, the stalling continues. This latest letter says that the USDA will not be able to comply with the twenty-working-day time limit, as well they will not be able to comply with the ten additional days provided by the statute. This 20 day thing, and the additional 10 days thing to comply by any statute is a hoot to say the least. I have been waiting to get this data for almost 4+ years, only to be turned down at every corner. seems to be just another in a long line of cover ups on TSE in the USA. ALSO, the USDA does not seem to be sure even if they can request a waiver fee I made due to my disability and financial situation from that. all in all, seems to be the same old BSeee. I only ponder if this recent discovery of the first case of atypical scrapie in the USA (NOR98), and the announcement of that, has anything to do with the delay in my FOIA request on mad sheep of mad river valley ???

Lot of things to ponder here, as the question I raised below also, why the quarantine of land for 4 to 5 years and slaughter of all the Faillaces animals, but yet we have heard nothing about this with this recent NOR98 case ??? AS with the atypical TSE in the Tejas bovine and the Alabama bovine, why no quarantine of land and slaughter of animals there ??? Many things about this case has been very disturbing from the start of this mess. I will post the additional letters below (have to print, scanner shot, and computer is about loaded up), but on my end around Johanns et al, I did go through the OIG with all this too, and I will post that letter I recieved as well. Then some links to all this from way back, for anyone interested. ...

IF you remember correctly, my latest letter requesting this information went out to ;

----- Original Message -----
From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2007 1:35 PM

Greetings USDA,

I respectfully request the final results of the mouse bio-assays test that were to have supposedly began 2+ years late, 5 years ago, on the imported sheep from Belgium ?

WHAT happened to the test results and MOUSE BIO-ASSAYS of those imported sheep from Belgium that were confiscated and slaughtered from the Faillace's, what sort of TSE did these animals have ?

WERE they atypical scrapie, BSE, and or typical scrapie ?

HOW much longer will you refuse to give us this information ? and for what reason ?

WHY is it that the Farm of the Mad Sheep of Mad River Valley were quarantined for 5 years, but none of these farms from Texas and Alabama with Atypical TSE in the Bovine, they have not been quarantined for 5 years, why not, with the real risk of BSE to sheep, whom is to say this was not BSE ?


full text ;

FURTHERMORE, I respectfully request up front, that any fees for this FOIA be wavered due to the fact this information should be free to the public and is in the best interest for the public to have these final results, no financial gain from this FOIA information is to be made either. ...

Thank You,

kind regards,

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, Texas USA 77518

snip...full text is at bottom of this email.


THEN, when i figured they were going to ignore me again, I sent this to the OIG and the Honorable Phyllis Fong ;

----- Original Message -----
From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
To: [log in to unmask]
Cc: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 3:09 PM

Dear O.I.G. F.O.I.A.,

A kind greetings from Texas.

Maybe you can help me out. I have tried relentlessly to find out the final results of the TSE Mouse-bioassays of those Atypical TSE in the Vermont sheep where there was a Declaration of Emergency announced. I have been unable to get any answer on those test and cannot figure out why not. OH, i have my guess on what they were.
but my guess is not good enough.

Could you please help find out for me ??? please see emails below on this matter.

many thanks, and keep up the good work in regards to trying to police the USDA/FSIS/APHIS et al on TSE.
it's indeed a full time job. ...

with kindest regards,

I am sincerely,

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, Texas USA 77518



LOW and behold, the OIG responds March 7, 2007 ;


DATE: MARCH 7, 2007

TO: Terry Singeltary
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, Texas 77518

Your request has been received. For your information, this office currently has a considerable backlog of requests for information, which we manage in accordance with USDA's Regulations and Department of Justice Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) policy. The FOIA Staff processes requests on a first-in, first-out basis using ''multitracks.'' There are four tracks: an expedited track if the request involves a matter of imminent threat to life; a simple track for relatively simple requests; a complex track for more complex and lengthy requests; and a remanded track, when a FOIA appeal is granted. Please be assured that your request will be categorized and processed in turn.

Should you have questions, you may call the FOIA staff at (202) 720-5677 and refer to Log. No. 07-00060.

Legal Staff


THEN, LOW and behold, on March 15, 2007, I finally receive acknowledgement from USDA on this matter (i.e. Fong syndrome takes effect again) ;


March 15, 2007

Mr. Terry S. Singeltary
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, TX 77518

Dear Mr. Singeltary,

This letter acknowledges receipt by the USDA Freedom of Information Act Service Center of your FOIA request dated February 25, 2007, for records related to bio-assays of sheep imported from Belgium. Your request has been referred to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for processing.

You will receive a response directly from APHIS.

Contact the APHIS FOIA Service Center at 301-734-5267 regarding any question on the status of your request.


Rita Morgan
Acting USDA Freedom of Information Act Officer


NOW, with reality setting in, I receive this letter from USDA on March 28, 2007 ;


March 28, 2007

Terry S. Singeltary, Sr.
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, TX 77518

Re: FOIA 07-566

Dear Mr. Singeltary:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated March 15, 2007, which was received in this Office on March 27, 2007, in which you requested atypical TSE information on Vermont Sheep.

The records you seek are maintained outside of this Office and we have not yet been able to complete a search to determine whether there are records within the scope of your request. Additionally, all Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are processed on a ''first-in, first-out'' basis, according to track. Due to the large number of FOIA requests our Agency has been receiving, we have a considerable backlog, and unfortunately a number of requests still remain in the queue (TRASH...TSS). Accordingly, we will be UNABLE TO COMPLY with the twenty-working-day time limit in THIS CASE, as well AS THE TEN ADDITIONAL DAYS provided by the statute (and is anyone surprised by this from this administration, i'm not. ...TSS). Please be advised; however, responding to all FOIA requests as promptly as possible is a high priority for out Agency. (not...tss)

We have not yet made a decision on your request for a fee waiver. We will do so after we determine whether fees will be assessed for this request.

I regret the necessity of this delay, but I assure you that your request will be processed as soon as possible. If you have any questions or wish to discuss reformulation or an alternative time frame for processing of your request, you may contact me at (301-734-3755).


Celeste Camp
Program Specialist

APHIS Safeguarding American Agriculture


guess what, i'm still waiting..............tss

snip...see full text ;

Subject: USA BSE/TSE RUMINANT-TO-RUMINANT FEED BAN VIOLATIONS ''cover-up'' From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2002 11:17:40 -0600 To: BSE-L Greetings List members, i have tried to inquire about the USA BSE/TSE feed ban violations with no luck via USDA/APHIS. since about april or may of 2002, the warning letters have ceased to be posted publicly, and at the site CVM and Ruminant feed inspections site url, they have not been updated either. it seems to me the new administration has taken away all rights for the public to view these violations. where are they now being posted ??? you can hide it, but it will not make it go away. would/could the USDA/APHIS whom lurk on this list, please comment? GBR risk assessment of BSE should be changed to all TSEs. USA GBR II should be changed to GBR III immediately! now about those ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban violations that have ceased to be published? why you may ask? Subject: Re: USA ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban warning letters ???

Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 15:08:13 -0600

From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.

Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

To: BSE-L References: <> <> <>

hello Dr. Dealler,

please do not hold your breath for any USA ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban warning letters since May of 2002 to be released anytime soon, this could be fatal for you;-) i have not gotten them yet, if any exist. but i am trying. hopefully GW et al will not think i am one of the terrorist, and will allow for this information to be released (with no charge attached$$$)...

kindest regards, terry

Steve Dealler wrote:

> This was absolutely excellent for Terry to have got this from the US

> should have tried getting this sort of thing from MAFF in the UK

> at the beginning of the nineties!

> Steve Dealler

> > Terry S. Singeltary Sr. wrote: > >

>> >>Greetings List Members, >>

>>as you know, i finally had to request to the FOIA

>>for the USA madcow feed ban warning letters. so i thought

>>some of you may be interested in an update on this matter. >>

>>so here it is; >>

>>Subject: Request to FDA via FOIA of ALL USA Ruminant-to-Ruminant Feed

>>Ban Violations Jan. 2001 to Jan. 2003

>>Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 08:32:43 -0600

>>From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.

>>Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

>>To: BSE-L >>

>>Food and Drug Administration

>>Office of Information Resources Management

>>Division of Freedom of Information (HFI-35)

>>5600 Fishers Lane

>>Rockville, MD 20857 >>

>>Or requests may be sent via fax to: (301) 443-1726. If there are

>>problems sending a fax, call (301) 443-2414. >>

>>1/6/03 >>

>>Request to FDA via FOIA of ALL USA Ruminant-to-Ruminant Feed Ban

>>Violations Jan. 2001 to Jan. 2003 >>

>>Greetings FDA and To Whom it may concern, >>

>>i wish to request all ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban violations from Jan.

>>2001 to Jan. 2003. it seems none has been posted since May 2001 on the

>>FDA site. I also kindly request that all fees be wavered due to the fact

>>this is public information, public health is at risk, and this

>>will be distributed 'freely' to the public...

>> >>thank you,

>>kind regards, >>

>>I am sincerely, >>

>>Terry S. Singeltary Sr. >>P.O. Box Bacliff, Texas USA 77518

>>CJD Watch


>>========================================================== >>

>>now since then, just this past Friday 1/10/03, i get this from >>FDA; >>


>>PLEASE note, my request was for all R-T-R feed ban

>>violations from Jan. 2001 to Jan. 2003. BUT in the

>>reply, they posted Jan. 2002 to Jan. 2003. i called

>>and this is to be corrected. hopefully this FOIA

>>request will ignite some enthusiasm from the FDA

>>into posting to the public any R-T-R MAD COW

>>FEED BAN violations, since GW et al new policy

>>on secrecy took effect on this matter in May of 2002

>>(correcting my below 'since May 2001).

>> >>TSS

>> >>Department of Health & Human Services

>> >>Food and Drug Administration

>>Rockville MD 20857 >>

>>1/7/03 >>

>>In reply refer to; >>

>>xxxxxxx >>

>>Dear Requester, >>

>>The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received your

>>Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records

>>regarding; >>


>>We will respond as soon as possible and may charge you a fee

>>for processing your request. If you have any questions

>>about your request, please call Edna G. Wilkerson,

>>Information Technician, at 301-827-6564 or write to us


>> >>Food and Drug Administration

>>Division of Freedom of Information

>>5600 Fishers Lance, HFI - 35

>>Rockville, MD 20857

>> >>If you call or write, use the reference number above

>>which will help us to answer your questions more quickly...


>>now, Sunday, i read this in the Houston Chronicle 1/12/03;


>> >>TEXAS Sen. John Coprnyn says he wants to improve public access to

>>government records in Washington, a position that appears to put

>>him at odds with the Bush administration.

>> >>Cornyn, a moderate Republican who sits on the Senate Judiciary

>>Committee, said he'll work on legislation in the coming weeks to

>>improve the Freedom of Information Act.

>> >>FOIA needs to be strenghened, he said, We need to quicken the

>>turnaround time and create a mechanism that allows an indepentent,

>>third party to decide whether a record should be kept secret.

>> >>Echoing sentiments he expressed while serving as Texas attorney

>>general, Cornyn added: I believe in a system of governement

>>that allows consent of the people. And people can't consent if they

>>don't what their elected officials are doing.

>> >>Since taking office two years ago, the Bush Administration has

>>taken steps to restrict access to governement information, an effort

>>that was accelerated in the name of national security following

>>the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks......

>> >>Greetings again BSE-L list members,

>> >>how would _USA_ ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban warning

>>letters have anything to do with terrorism and National


>> >>you can see a list of sample USA madcow warning letters;


>>where, oh where, did all Terry's mad cow feed ban warning letters go$

>> >>FDA Cuts Back on Warnings

>> >>10/01/02

>> >>WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration has substantially cut

>>back on warnings sent to companies that run afoul of its rules, a move

>>the agency contends will result in more-effective enforcement but that

>>critics say lets violators off the hook.

>> >>The drop results from a policy change in late February that requires the

>>FDA chief counsel's office to clear all warning letters to ensure they

>>are legally sound. Before the change, division and district offices

>>around the country issued such letters unilaterally. In the six months

>>since, the agency issued 279 warning letters, a drop of 64% from the

>>same period last year, a review of agency records shows. The FDA says

>>the chief counsel's office rejected only 6% of the 699 warning letters

>>and other citations it reviewed. At the same time, division and district

>>enforcers may be holding back letters they once would have sent.


>> >>

>> >>snip...

>> >>Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 13:21:00 -0700

>>Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

>>Sender: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

>>From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.

>>Subject: 'TONNAGE' OF TAINTED FEED $ what's up with the mad cow warning

>> letters

>> >>Greetings,

>> >>since the FDA has apparently stopped issuing some warning letters;

>> >>10/7/02

>> >>Senate Questions FDA Commissioner Nominee

>> >>In testimony today before the U.S. Senate, Dr. Mark McClellan, the Bush

>>administration nominee for Commissioner of Food and Drugs, said that

>>under his leadership, the FDA would uphold its enforcement authority to

>>ensure the safety and effectiveness of the products it regulates and to

>>ensure that accurate and truthful information is conveyed to the public.

>> >>Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Health, Education,

>>Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, expressed concern at the start of

>>the hearing that the FDA may be backing away from its regulatory

>>authority, noting a drop in the number of Warning Letters issued by the

>>agency, rumors that the FDA may regulate certain contact lenses as

>>cosmetics rather than as devices and the agency's re-examination of its

>>policies in light of First Amendment challenges.

>> >>Although McClellan did not comment directly on any of the specific

>>examples cited by Kennedy, the nominee said that he sees no intent on

>>FDA's part to retreat from its mission of protecting the public health...

>> >>snip...

>> >>

>> >>maybe i was not too far off when i acting in haste on the previous >>thread on BSE-L, see archived thread;

>> snip...

>>>######## Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy >>>#########

>>> >>>Greetings and Happy Holidays,

>>> >>>hi Linda,

>>> >>>many thanks for this reply, was just checking in to see

>>>if anything new had happened since our last correspondence.

>>>i thought i had missed something?

>>> >>> > Unfortunately, the new database is much more complicated than

>>> >>> > the old one, and it does not lend itself to presenting data in

>>> >>> > a simple spreadsheet as we did in the past.

>>> >>>how convenient;-) i had no problems with the old one...

>>> >>> > Please be assured that CVM is working to solve this problem,

>>> >>> > and we do plan to post this data in the future.

>>> >>>thank you, if USDA/APHIS are lucky, i will hold my breath until

>>>that time;-)

>>> >>>nothing personal Linda, take care,

and may the New Year bring

>>> >>>PEACE...

>>> >>>TSS

>>> >>>CVM HomePage wrote:

>>> >>> >>>>Dear Mr. Singeltary:

>>>> >>>>As mentioned in my e-mail of December 4, FDA's Center for Veterinary

>>>>Medicine never posted the Warning Letters for ruminant feed violations on

>>>>our BSE page -- However,

>>>>these Warning Letters have been included on the FDA Warning Letters


>>>>-- that is located on the FDA's

>>>>Electronic Freedom of Information Reading Room page. But, not as a

>>>>separate category of Warning Letters for violations of the ruminant feed


>>>> >>>>I checked the Warning Letter page, and found that quite a few Warning

>>>>Letters have been posted since May; however, I did not find any more


>>>>than May 7, 2002, regarding Animal Proteins Prohibited in Ruminant

>>>>Feed/Misbranded (ruminant feed rule violations.) You may wish to

>>>>file a

>>>>Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to determine if more recent

>>>>Warning Letters have been issued, but not posted on the FDA Home Page.

>>>>Information about filing a FOIA request may be found at:


>>>> >>>>As mentioned on the CVM and Ruminant Feed (BSE) Inspections site --

>>>> >>>>After March 11, 2002, FDA discontinued the database that was used to

>>>>compile these listings. The Agency started a new database on April 15,


>>>>and future updates on BSE enforcement and inspectional findings will draw

>>>>from it. The format of the information presented here may change, due to

>>>>design changes of the new database. This site will be updated after a


>>>>of time that allows for transition into the new database system.

>>>> >>>>Unfortunately, the new database is much more complicated than the old


>>>>and it does not lend itself to presenting data in a simple spreadsheet

>>>>as we

>>>>did in the past. Please be assured that CVM is working to solve this

>>>>problem, and we do plan to post this data in the future.

>>>> >>>>We have nothing new to report at this time.

>>>> >>>>I hope that this information is helpful.

>>>> >>>>Sincerely yours,

>>>> >>>>Linda A. Grassie for the FDA Home Page

>>>> >>>> >>>>-----Original Message-----

>>>>From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. []

>>>>Sent: Saturday, December 21, 2002 4:03 PM


>>>>Subject: USA ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban warning letters ???

>>>> >>>> >>>>Greetings,

>>>> >>>>i have noticed the inspections and warning letters

>>>>from firms not complying with the ruminant-to-ruminant

>>>>feed ban violations has not been updated since (March 11, 2002)?

>>>> >>>>2) Firms Currently Considered as Not in Compliance with the BSE Feed


>>>> >>>>The following spreadsheet is a subset of Spreadsheet 1 and contains the

>>>>name, address, and firm identifier of all firms that were considered as

>>>>not being in compliance with the BSE feed regulation at their most

>>>>recent inspection, according to the BSE inspection database. Compliance

>>>>status was determined by examination of the BSE Inspection Checklist.

>>>>The dates of the inspections and the specific BSE provision violations

>>>>for each inspection are also included. The listing is organized

>>>>alphabetically first by the FDA District and then by the state in which

>>>>the inspected facility is located.

>>>> >>>>Most Recent BSE Inspections, Firms Not in Compliance

>>>> >>>>

>>>> >>>>i would be interested to know if all firms are now complying and that no

>>>>warning letters have been issued since may of 2002, or have they just not

>>>>been posted?

>>>> >>>>if so, how can i locate them?

>>>> >>>>thank you,

>>>>kind regards,


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