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Agriculture agency halts public release of documents

Associated Press

WASHINGTON – An Agriculture Department research agency has banned the release of news releases, photos and other material to the public.

In a memo to employees at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, chief of staff Sharon Drumm said the agency would immediately cease releasing any “public-facing” documents.

“This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content,” read the email memo obtained by the Associated Press.

Earlier in the day, the Trump team ordered a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency.

A statement released by ARS spokesman Christopher Bentley said the agency “values and is committed to maintaining the free flow of information between our scientists and the American public as we strive to find solutions to agricultural problems affecting America.”

The statement said some material would still be available on the agency’s website.

Buzzfeed News first reported the memo.

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