Gagging on the Ag Gag Bill – Industrial lobbying and corporate overreach at its most bile

Smiling llama by Nina DeRubertis at the Farmarazzi collection by

By Chef Kurt Michael Friese

Industrial agriculture, like most powerful business interests, has a very effective lobbying organization – not only in DC, but also in state capitols around the country.  Over the last few years they’ve been stung by surreptitious video recordings taken on a few farms showing examples of egregious animal abuse, unsafe working conditions, and environmental degradation.  See examples here, here, and here.

Needless to say, it makes them look bad, which of course they don’t like.  Now let me state right from the start here that I and the organization I represent, Slow Food USA, are not at all anti-farmer, and firmly believe that a vast majority of America’s farmers are honest, hardworking, industrious and well-meaning keepers of their land and heritage.  That said, there are exceptions, and like in any industry, a few bad apples can make the whole bunch look bad.

But instead of working hard to stop those few bad actors, Big Ag’s response is to try to criminalize the whistleblowers.  And their first attempts, in four states (Florida, Minnesota, Iowa and most recently New York) are so far reaching as to beg obvious 1st amendment questions to say the least.

Take for example Iowa’s proposed bill, which as I type has passed the Republican controlled House and is pending in the Democratic-controlled Senate.  Formally titled “SF431: An Act relating to offenses involving agricultural operations, and providing penalties and remedies,” it makes it a criminal offense to photograph, video-or-audio-record any farm without the owners consent.


3 responses to “Gagging on the Ag Gag Bill – Industrial lobbying and corporate overreach at its most bile

  1. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » Food Freedom | Decentralize, Grow Your Own, Buy Local.

  2. These laws are just another goose step toward eliminating our constitution and turning our lives over to a business run government where we have no right to think or voice an opinion. A faschest government where everything business does is right and everything the people do is wrong. If allowed to degrade far enough we will find them telling us it is a priveledge to be alive so shut up and pay for what is offered no matter what and question nothing.

    I have put this up before but it needs to be repeated. In the USA this is how modern medicine through its government control apparatus the Department of Health and Human Services and their policing arm the Food and Drug Administration feel about the people they are supposed to serve.

    “There is No Right to Consume or Feed Children Any Particular Food; There is No Generalized Right to Bodily and Physical Health; There is No Fundamental Right to Freedom of Contract.” ~ US Dept of Health & Human Services and US Food & Drug Administration, 2010

    Doc Blake

  3. Pingback: Toxin Free Living » “Cancer and its ramification”: on issues like, “Population Control” and “Money Making Scams” with business in “Food” and “Finance” – ready for the shock & awe

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