Ag Gag laws are growing threat to free speech and food safety

Ted Genoways at Mother Jones has an excellent cover story on the growing number of "ag gag" laws that criminalize documenting animal abuse at factory farms.

Amanda Hitt, director of the Government Accountability Project's Food Integrity Campaign, explains why these laws are so dangerous:

"This is a bigger, broader issue." She likened activist videos to airplane black-box recorders—evidence for investigators to deconstruct and find wrongdoing. Ag gag laws, she said, don't just interfere with workers blowing the whistle on animal abuse. "You are also stopping environmental whistleblowing; you are also stopping workers' rights whistleblowing." In short, "you have given power to the industry to completely self-regulate." That should "scare the pants off" consumers concerned about where their food comes from. "It's the consumer's right to know, but also the employee's right to tell. You gotta have both."

Mother Jones has an interactive map (screenshot above) that details which states have passed these ag gag laws. Already in 2013, 14 of these laws have been introduced.

Genoways goes on to tell the history how these laws came to pass, as well as interviewing two farm employees that were affected by undercover video.

Read the rest.

Tags: Agriculture | Animal Rights | Animal Welfare | Factory Farming | Food Safety

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