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e-CFR data is current as of October 22, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter IXPart 900 → Subpart G


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 900—GENERAL REGULATIONS


Subpart G—Miscellaneous Requirements


Contents
§900.200   Definitions.
§900.201   Investigation and disposition of alleged violations.
§900.202   Restrictions applicable to Committee personnel.
§900.210   Disclosures of information.
§900.211   Penalties.

Authority: Sec. 10, 48 Stat. 37, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 610.

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§900.200   Definitions.

As used in this subpart, the terms as defined in the Act shall apply with equal force and effect. In addition, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) The term Act means Public Act No. 10, 73d Congress (48 Stat. 31), as amended and as reenacted and amended by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (50 Stat. 246, 7 U.S.C. 601), as amended;

(b) The term Department means the United States Department of Agriculture;

(c) The term Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in his stead;

(d) The term General Counsel means the General Counsel of the Department;

(e) The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, with power to redelegate, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has been delegated or may hereafter be delegated to act in his stead.

(f) The term mail means to transmit either electronically or through a postal or other delivery system, information or a package (e.g., letter or envelope) to a recipient.

(g) The term Federal Register means the publication provided for by the Act of July 26, 1935 (49 Stat. 500), and Acts supplementary thereto and amendatory thereof;

(h) The term marketing agreement means any marketing agreement or any amendment thereto which may be entered into pursuant to section 8b of the Act;

(i) The term marketing order means any order or any amendment thereto which may be issued pursuant to section 8c of the Act;

(j) The term person means any individual, corporation, partnership, association, or any other business unit;

(k) The term official means the Secretary, any officer, employee, or other person employed or appointed by the Department, and any agency or agent appointed by the Secretary to administer a marketing agreement or a marketing order, and any agent or employee of any such agency or agent;

(l) The term information means and includes reports, books, accounts, records, and the facts and information contained therein and required to be furnished to or acquired by any official pursuant to the provisions of any marketing agreement or marketing order.

[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 26 FR 7796, Aug. 22, 1961; 28 FR 579, Jan. 23, 1963; 37 FR 8059, Apr. 25, 1972; 83 FR 27682, June 14, 2018]

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§900.201   Investigation and disposition of alleged violations.

Whenever the Administrator has reason to believe that any handler has violated, or is violating, the provisions of any marketing order, he may institute such investigation and, after due notice to such handler, conduct such hearing in order to determine the facts as, in his opinion, are warranted. If, in the opinion of the Administrator and the General Counsel, the facts developed as a result of such investigation or hearing warrant such action, the General Counsel shall refer the matter to the Attorney General for appropriate action.

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§900.202   Restrictions applicable to Committee personnel.

Members and employees of Federal marketing order boards and committees are immune from prosecution under the United States antitrust laws only insofar as their conduct in administering the respective marketing order is authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, 7 U.S.C. 601-674, or the provisions of the respective order. Under the antitrust laws, Committee members and employees may not engage in any unauthorized agreement or concerted action that unreasonably restrains United States domestic or foreign commerce. For example, Committee members and employees have no authority to participate, either directly or indirectly, whether on an informal or formal, written or oral basis, in any bilateral or international undertaking or agreement with any competing foreign producer or seller or with any foreign government, agency, or instrumentality acting on behalf of competing foreign producers or sellers to raise, fix, stabilize, or set a floor for commodity prices, or limit the quantity or quality of commodity imported into or exported from the United States. Participation in any such unauthorized agreement or joint undertaking could result in prosecution under the antitrust laws by the United States Department of Justice and/or suit by injured private persons seeking treble damages, and could also result in expulsion of members from the Committee or termination of employment with the Committee.

[80 FR 45396, July 30, 2015]

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§900.210   Disclosures of information.

All information in the possession of any official which relates to the business or property of any person, and which was furnished by, or obtained from, such person pursuant to the provisions of any marketing agreement or marketing order, shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed, divulged, or made public, unless otherwise expressly provided in said marketing agreement or marketing order, or unless said person authorizes said official, in writing, to disclose such information, except that:

(a) Such information may be disclosed, divulged, or made public if it has been obtained from or furnished by a person who is not the person to whose business or property such information relates or an employee of such latter person, or if such information is otherwise required by law to be furnished to an official;

(b) Such information may be furnished to other officials for use in the regular course of their official duties;

(c) Such information may be combined and published in the form of general statistical studies or data in which the identity of the person furnishing such information or from whom it was obtained shall not be disclosed;

(d) Such information may be disclosed upon lawful demand made by the President or by either House of Congress or any committee thereof, or, if the Secretary determines that such disclosure is not contrary to the public interest, such information may be disclosed in response to a subpena by any court of competent jurisdiction.

(e) Such information may be offered in evidence (whether or not it has been obtained from or furnished by the person against whom it is offered) by or on behalf of the Secretary, the United States, or the official who obtained it or to whom it was furnished, in any administrative hearing held pursuant to section 8c(15)(A) of the Act or in any action, suit, or proceeding, civil or criminal, in which the Secretary or the United States or any such official is a party, and:

(1) Which is instituted (i) for the purpose of enforcing or restraining the violation of any marketing agreement or marketing order, or (ii) for the purpose of collecting any penalty or forfeiture provided for in the Act, or (iii) for the purpose of collecting any monies due under a marketing agreement or marketing order, or

(2) In which the validity of any marketing agreement or marketing order, or any provision of either, is challenged or involved.

(f) Such information may be furnished to the duly constituted authorities of any State, pursuant to a written agreement made under authority of section 10(i) of the Act, to the extent that such information is relevant to transactions within the regulatory jurisdiction of such authorities.

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§900.211   Penalties.

Any official who shall have violated the provisions of §900.210 by wilfully divulging, disclosing, or making public any information acquired by or furnished to or in the possession or custody of such official pursuant to the provisions of a marketing agreement or marketing order shall be subject to a penalty of the amount specified at §3.91(b)(1) (viii) of this title for each offense. (The civil penalty provided in this section is prescribed under the authority contained in sec. 10(c) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 610(c)); this provision is not intended to supersede the provision in section 8d(2) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 608d(2)) for criminal liability and removal from office.)

[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 75 FR 17560, Apr. 7, 2010]

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