April 19, 2012

Agriculture Industry Gives Missouri Lawmakers $1 Million, They Give It Bill To Ban Filming Farm Abuse

What is the industry trying to hide with its "Ag Gag" bills?

All over the country, the agriculture industry is pushing “Ag Gag” bills that would criminalize people who take undercover videos at factory farms to expose the abuse of animals and unsanitary conditions that could sicken people.

On Tuesday, the Missouri House of Representatives passed an “Ag Gag” bill. Rep. Casey Guernsey (R), the chief sponsor of the bill and a cattle farmer, said that it was needed to “protect an industry that drives the economy in this state,” basically openly admitting that he was pushing the bill on behalf of the industry.

According to records from the National Institute on Money In State Politics, the agriculture industry spent more than $1 million on campaign contributions since 2010. Unsurprisingly, Guernsey’s top donor in his 2010 campaign was Smithfield Foods.

Utah and Iowa were the other states that most recently signed their own version of “Ag Gag” bills into law. If the industry continues to get its way, Missouri will be next.