The following op-ed was written by GAP Food Integrity Campaign Director Amanda Hitt.
Last week, the Utah House passed legislation outlawing the act of taking undercover video at farms, dairies, and other food production facilities. Now before the Senate, the proposed law is similar to six other states’ draft legislation, known as "ag gag" bills.
This legislation poses a threat to public health. Why? Because all individuals, including workers who witness gross wrongdoing and food safety violations, would be silenced. This bill criminalizes whistleblowers.
Public debate over HB187 has revolved around farm owner rights vs. animal groups’ concerns. The House bill’s sponsor, Rep. John Mathis, R-Vernal, contends that "national propaganda" organizations use undercover video to shut down farm operations.