Stop Iowa Legislation from Criminalizing Undercover Videos from Farms
We have witnessed cruel treatment of animals, food processing, and awful working conditions in documentaries like Food Inc., on TV shows like Oprah, we have read about these issues from Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbra Kingsolver, or Omnivores Dilemma by Michal Pollan, or Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. Big Ag, Big Food Industry, and Iowa's agricultural industry are concerned. They are trying to prevent future issues by making it illegal for an employee to take undercover video to prove the conditions these individuals work in and how these organisms are treated before they are processed.
With this new legislation "the bill would impose fines and prison sentences on anyone who seeks agricultural employment in order to capture footage" up to ten years in prison said Democracynow.org. Two bills are steadily advancing: Senate File 431 in the Democrat-led Iowa Senate and House File 589 in the Republican-led Iowa House. Both bills could come to a vote soon writes Jennifer Jacobs of DesMoinesRegister.com
In the past, these video footages have exposed shocking conditions in several locations which have led to plant closures and meat recalls. We need this transparency and the ability to inform others about the food we eat and to keep the agricultural industry honest, moral, and appropriate.
Please sign this petition so we can prevent this bill from getting passed into law. It is not acceptable to have our rights taken away to protect big business so they can keep on profiting from their immoral behavior.
I am writing to urge you to vehemently oppose any legislation that that criminalizes the of videoing of farms, slaughter houses, and/or food processing facilities (will be referred to as "farms" from here on) by employees or others. Two bills are steadily advancing: Senate File 431 in the Democrat-led Iowa Senate and House File 589 in the Republican-led Iowa House. Both bills could come to a vote soon. This legislation will only help big agriculture and food processors to hide the treatment of their workers, animals, and the conditions of their process and facilities.
We believe if a company is honest, moral, and appropriate, respecting both human and animal rights; there is nothing to hide and no reason to enact such a bill. Of corse if a corporation or institution is dishonest, immoral, inappropriate it will show no respect to its workers, animals, or consumers for that matter, and they would want such a law to protect themselves out of fear of America's disapproval of their practices.
As citizens of this country we are well aware that much of our food comes from Iowa. As such we do rely on the eyes, ears, and rights of our fellow citizens to let us know of concerns we must be aware of as it deals with our food, our health, and our own survival. Authors of this legislation suggests that this bill is a counter-terrorist measure that would only protect the American public. This could not be more further from the truth. No terrorist would want to disseminate their video's of these farms. But individuals concerned about public health, safety, and the well-being of others would. They would do so to protect Americans from any immorality, inhumanity, or disrespect that would or could cause suffering to America's people and its livestock. That is terrorism. And that is unacceptable to write such a crippling bill into law.
I urge you to oppose any legislation that works to protect big agriculture, big business, slaughter houses, and food processing plants by banning and not allowing individuals to document inappropriate activity. Rather allow others, be it citizens or employes to without penalty, document and show via video or any other media form, any farm, slaughter house, or food processing plant's abuse, neglect, or other inappropriate or immoral activity. So we may hold these farms to America's high standards.
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