“Ag-gag” Laws and Whistle-blower Protections

Issues

“Ag-gag” Laws and Whistle-blower Protections

The Breakdown

Whistle-blowers in the food industry conduct investigations that reveal critical information about the mishandling of animal products (i.e., meat, eggs, milk) by farms and slaughterhouses that can lead to Salmonella, mad cow disease, and other potentially-fatal illnesses.

“Ag-gag” laws (also known as anti-whistleblower laws) criminalize these whistle-blower investigations.

• Ag-gag laws may perpetuate animal abuse on industrial farms and threaten workers’ rights, consumer health and safety, law enforcement investigations, and the freedom of journalists, employees and the public-at-large to share information about national food production.

– Example: In Utah and Iowa, the recording of undercover videos showing animal cruelty in farming practices is now illegal.

Our Position

• Stop Foodborne Illness urges the repeal of ag-gag laws and anti-whistle-blowing rules by state policymakers.

• We do NOT support any company, government, or regulatory policy that places penalties on whistle-blowers.

Related Issue: Factory Farming

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