December 7, 2021

Congress Passes Whistleblower Protection Act

On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, the Senate approved the Whistleblower Protection Act, which provides new protections for federal employees. The legislation passed the House in September. President Obama is expected to sign the bill. The Government Accountability Project's Food Integrity Campaign (FIC) has listed types of actions that would be protected under the new law. They include, for example, an FDA inspector who exposes falsification of records at farms, a public health veterinarian telling a USDA supervisor that a slaughterhouse is violating humane handling regulations, and an FDA researcher whose attempts to publish new findings on a food ingredient are suppressed. It also protects government scientists who challenge censorship and cancels the 1999 precedent that translates … [Read more...]

British Columbia to Ban Information on Farm Disease Outbreaks

In a move curiously reminiscent of Ag-gag laws, the government of British Columbia has moved to ban information on farm disease outbreaks. The new laws are in the Animal Health Act. Agriculture Minister Don McRae said that making information about diseases on British Columbia farms secret will better protect the public. The government said that "the changes would help prevent the spread of animal disease as well as improving the response to a potential outbreak." The government believes that farmers will hide disease outbreaks if they think this information will go out to the public, even going so far as to slaughter diseased animals and not report them to authorities. But Canada's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act already covers that potential scenario. In … [Read more...]

Missouri Mulls Ag Gag Bill

Missouri is the latest state to consider passing a so-called “ag-gag” law that would criminalize the act of getting a job at an agriculture production facility expressly to gain access to make audio or visual recordings. Rep. Casey Guernsey, R-Bethany, is the sponsor of the bill which would make it: a Class B misdemeanor to use false pretenses to gain access to an agricultural production facility; a Class A misdemeanor to record images or sounds from such facilities and a Class D felony if there had been a previous violation. These kinds of bills are gaining traction in some agricultural states after footage of animal cruelty captured by “undercover” animal rights activists created several high-profile stories. Four years ago, the Humane Society captured footage of downer cattle … [Read more...]

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