Letter: Beware Ag-Gag Laws

“Despicable, unconstitutional, ridiculous, immature, idiotic and mendacious.” And that’s just how Tennessee newspapers characterized the state’s “ag-gag” bill now awaiting the governor’s signature.

Ag-gag bills criminalize whistle-blowing that exposes animal abuses, unsafe working conditions and environmental problems on factory farms.

Instead of encouraging whistle-blowing and preventing these violations, ag-gag laws ensure that consumers and regulatory authorities are kept in the dark.

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and Utah have enacted ag-gag laws, but such bills were defeated in eight other states, thanks to a strong outcry from the public and newspaper editors. In 2013, new ag-gag bills were introduced in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont and Wyoming. The language has been invariably drafted by the infamous anti-consumer American Legislative Exchange Council.

Thirty newspapers and 60 national animal protection, workers’ rights, civil liberties, public health, food safety and environmental conservation organizations have recently gone on record as strongly opposing ag-gag bills.

Our government must never restrict our right and obligation to know where our food comes from. For a recent update on the status of ag-gag bills, visit mfablog.org/2013/04/state-of-the-ag-gag-2013.html.

Will Turmeric, Wellington


  1. The fact that we must rely upon private individuals to report crime is evidence that government has failed in its duty to protect life. So this writer wants to allow individuals to do the job that government agencies have failed to perform.

    This writer obviously believes that everyone should have the right to video the atrocities committed on farms. I would like to ask this writer if he supports private undercover videos of abortion clinics.

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