On April 30, 2012, Food Poisoning Bulletin told you about an “Ag-Gag” bill that passed the Iowa legislature and is going to the governor’s desk for signature. The bill criminalizes anyone who lies to get a job at a factory farm, with the intent to expose animal abuse or other wrongdoing in agribusiness. Since that time, Utah has passed an ag-gag bill, and Missouri passed a watered-down version.
Twenty-seven groups have signed a statement opposing this legislation, since it suppresses information about the treatment of animals. The statement reads, in part:
“These bills represent a wholesale assault on many fundamental values shared by all people across the United States. Not only would these bills perpetuate animal abuse on industrial farms, they would also threaten workers’ rights, consumer health and safety, and the freedom of journalists, employees, and the public at large to share information about something as fundamental as our food supply.”
Some of the organizations which have signed the statement include:
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®
- Compassion Over Killing
- Farm Forward
- Farm Sanctuary
- The Humane Society of the United States
- The Cornucopia Institute
- In Defense of Animals
- Mercy for Animals
- Center for Science in the Public Interest
- Food and Water Watch
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Slow Food USA
- Youth for Environmental Sanity
A recent poll by the ASPCA revealed that 71% of Americans support these undercover investigations. And 94% of Americans think it’s important that laws are in place to ensure that food from animals is safe to eat and that animals raised for food deserve to not be abused.
Some terrible cruelties have been exposed by these whistleblowers, including turkeys being abused at a Butterball farm and a Humane Society investigation that showed downer cows being slaughtered. That meat, which has been tied to cases of Mad Cow disease, was used in school lunches. And Iowa egg producer Sparboe Farms was exposed abusing animals by the ABC news program “20/20″.