Protecting Food. Empowering Whistleblowers.

Food Integrity Campaign Blog

Food Poisoning Bulletin: USDA Whistleblower Speaks Out Against Idaho’s Ag Gag Law

March 4, 2014

Dr. Daryl Jacobs, a USDA whistleblower from Idaho, has spoken out against that state’s ag gag law, which was signed by the governor last week. He has made a statement to Food Integrity Campaign about why undercover videos are needed to protect animals and to keep the food supply safe.

He said, “as a former veterinarian for the USDA, I have seen a lot of unfortunate things come out of Idaho dairy farms. Broken bones, cows sick with cancer, and loaded with antibiotics. I understand why some farms would want to keep their abuses hidden, but a few bad apples shouldn’t get the benefit of a bad law. Undercover investigation is important for exposing all kinds of illegal and immoral activities, not just problems at dairy farms, and whistleblowers need video to validate and substantiate what they’re saying.”

Advocates working undercover have exposed many problems in the food industry, including the practices at the Peanut Corporation of America that caused a massive Salmonella outbreak in 2009. In 2008, animal abuse at the Hallmark Meatpacking Company was uncovered by the Humane Society secret video that led to a huge recall of Westland beef. More than 143 million pounds of meat was recalled. Some of that beef was used in the National School Lunch Program.

Some corporations that have lobbied for these ag gag laws include Monsanto and Dupont. Ag gag laws are in place in Missouri, Iowa, Utah, Idaho, North Dakota, Montana, and Kansas.