Letter: 'Ag-gag' bill essential for exposing injustice - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letter: 'Ag-gag' bill essential for exposing injustice

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Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013 2:18 pm | Updated: 11:23 am, Thu May 16, 2013.

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

“Ag-gag” bills criminalize whistleblowing that exposes animal abuses, unsafe working conditions, and environmental problems on factory farms. Instead of encouraging whistleblowing 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 (ALEC).

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.

Roger Wicklund

Mesa

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