Missouri Rep. McCreery Offers Legislative Counter-Attack to So-Called “Ag Gag” Laws

Posted on April 18, 2012

Amendment Based on Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Proposed “Protect Your Food” Act Offers First-of-its-Kind Legislative Strike Against Laws that Chill Whistleblowing on Farms

For immediate release

Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Chicken Factory FarmJefferson City, Mo.– Yesterday, Rep. Tracy McCreery, an Independent representing District 83 (St. Louis County) offered a version of the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s “Protect Your Food” Act as an amendment to HB 1860, the omnibus ag bill currently being debated. McCreery’s amendment would have prohibited the state from purchasing food from jurisdictions that have so-called “ag gag” laws. Ag gag laws, versions of which have recently passed in Iowa and Utah, make it illegal to photograph or videotape at agricultural facilities, or to possess or distribute such evidence–with the goal of quieting whistleblowers and eliminating access to critical evidence of food safety violations and other abuses. Currently a few ag gag type provisions being considered in Missouri, including an ag gag provision within HB 1860 itself.

This was the first introduction in any state capital of this potential legislative remedy that states can enact to protect their citizens by prohibiting the state from purchasing potentially-dangerous food products from jurisdictions that pass ag gag laws. “I’m uncomfortable passing special protections for industries that prevent light being shown on food safety concerns, environmental issues, and cruelty to animals,” says McCreery.” We want to encourage honesty without fear.” The amendment did not pass, but if reelected, McCreery plans to pre-file a complete version of ALDF’s Protect Your Food Act on December 1.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Protect Your Food campaign launched in February as a way to gather grassroots support for legislative ag gag counter-strikes such as McCreery’s amendment. “Under the guise of property rights, ag gag bills are intended to prevent consumers from ever seeing the animal abuse, contaminated crops, illegal working conditions, and risky food safety practices–the sort that result in massive food safety recalls and all too frequently lead to outbreaks of food-borne illness–that are common practice behind factory farm gates,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “We are delighted to support McCreery’s vanguard efforts to oppose these insidious laws.”

3 thoughts on “Missouri Rep. McCreery Offers Legislative Counter-Attack to So-Called “Ag Gag” Laws

  1. Cindy W ines says:

    We should have these Ag laws in all 50 states. There is no excuse for this type of abuse to the chickens, cows, turkey, pigs or goats. These animals have no choice in this life of cruelty and we need to be humane and offer them as much comfort as possible before they go to slaughter. We should not exploit animals, as if it is our right, just because we are human. I hope these laws are passed. I live in Idaho and this state is as bad as Ohio when it comes to animal abuse.
    Governor Butch Otter finally passed a law which only processes legal action after 3 charges of animal abuse. Why not the 1st??? The poor animal is dead by the 3rd count of abuse.

  2. lynne huntley says:

    It is critical to our democracy to squelch these “ag-gag laws before they spread and take root anywhere else. The food industry must remin transparent and answerable to the American consumer. We cannot allow our voices and the transparency to be taken from us. It would be disasterous to our own freedoms-the very basis of the costitution-“of the people, by the people for the people..” It was not written for the corporations! In addition, the ag industry must recognize that farmed animals are not”widgets” alive only to grow fat and be slaughtered and processed into large profits for a self regulating mega industry that wants to answer to no one! We must keep our voices alive as only then can there be hope for these innocent and sentient beings.

  3. Wayne says:

    We need to honor the privacy of private property and American Citizens. Just because “You” object to a farmer does not mean you have the right to violate his privacy, who know someday that farmer may object to your suspected conduct in your home and sneak in to photo your conduct.

    I don’t expect you would like that now would you? Also there are plently laws and over reach by the Govt into our daily lives as it is. Take a chill pill friend… in 100 years it won’t matter anyway.

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