Missouri Rep. Wants to Criminalize Finding Out Where Your Diseased Meat Came From

He adds: "I'm looking at it from a human health standpoint. Environmental terrorism -- what would happen if we had a bunch of [terrorist acts] in the state because we handed out information to individuals and those individuals went out and poisoned a bunch of animals?"

jay_houghton.JPG
Facebook/Jay Houghton
State Rep. Jay Houghton

On his non-legislation days, Houghton works as a manager at McCaw Farms' hog facility and in the past has worked for Monsanto's dairy research facility and Cargill, one of the world's largest meat producers. Nonetheless, Houghton insists that his bill is only only about protecting personal information like "addresses" and preventing terrorist attacks.

But Jim McCann, president of the Missouri Cattleman's Association says he supports the bill because it prevents information from getting into undesirable hands.

"If an activist, media or some other individual or group submitted a Sunshine request, the state would most likely have to surrender producers' private information," McCann tells the High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal.

See also: The Ag-Gag War: How undercover animal-rights activists are winning it

The criminalization of obtaining records resembles anti-whistleblower or "Ag-gag" laws that have successfully criminalized or greatly restricted the act of recording the inside of farms and slaughterhouses in several states, including Missouri, where a 2012 law signed into law by Governor Jay Nixon required evidence of animal abuse to be reported within 24 hours.

But Houghton insists that's not the intent of the bill.

"There is no Ag-gag bill," he says. "This is about privacy."

Houghton's bill has four co-sponsors, including Republican lawmaker Casey Guernsey, who sponsored a version of the 2012 Ag-gag bill and later unsuccessfully sought to criminalize flying drones with cameras over farms and livestock yards.

Lawmakers held a hearing on HB 2094 on Tuesday. It still needs a vote to get to the next step of the legislation process.

See also: Missouri House Passes "Ag Gag" Bill Designed to Stop Factory-Farm Investigations


Follow Ray Downs on Twitter:

E-mail him at Ray.Downs@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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37 comments
Michael Kepler
Michael Kepler

Not shocked considering the always honest and wonderful Monsanto company is HQ'd in St Louis.

Stu Katz
Stu Katz

Typical of the Missouri Legislature, a bunch of thieves and lowlifes.

Deb Woods
Deb Woods

Scott Creedon- you cannot be that clueless about what is really going on. If you are, please don't ever vote. Ever.

Earl Barge
Earl Barge

I'm sure it made sense to them when they just said it in their head. Saying it out load is another story.

Steve Scott
Steve Scott

These so called represenatives only care about money not about our health or enviroment.

Don Lanier
Don Lanier

Imagine if Asbestos had a Protection act......like Monsanto, whose to say in 15 years GMO/GE Foodstocks arent the new Asbestos....

Don Lanier
Don Lanier

I say we criminalize STUPID legislators like this, Instead of giving COVER to offenders it should be easier, not harder, this Legislator needfs to be FIRED....

Zac Miller
Zac Miller

I'm from the planet where a Republican president oversaw the largest expansion of the federal government via the PATRIOT Act, DHS, TSA. The planet where our government constantly expands corporate control via ALEC. The planet where laws like this expand government against the people while giving corporations free reign to engage in unsavory business practices. The planet where Republicans claim to advocate for small government, but do the opposite.

Terry Deschain
Terry Deschain

Planet Republicrat. Parties of, for, and by the corporations.

Scott Creedon
Scott Creedon

Big government Republicans? What planet are you from?

Marc Seleman
Marc Seleman

Once again big business wins out over consumers. Here's an idea....quit eating the beef and hurt them where it matters at their bottom line.

Rob Spicer
Rob Spicer

I honestly just don't give a shit anymorez. We're supposed to be going this way ->, but they taking us that way

Heather Louis
Heather Louis

Am I the only one who feels like America is going to end up in concentration camps?

Doug Tull
Doug Tull

Always remember that Republicans are the enemy of the individual, the consumer and the employee, and you'll be fine. They serve the lobbyist, industry and the corporation.

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

Why do so many businesses that DON'T need protections, get them?? Oh yeah, because money is more important than the health of our citizens. I forgot.

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

These "meat farms" have become too big to fail. They contribute so much money to corrupt politicians.

Zac Miller
Zac Miller

Big government Republicans protecting big business.

Phil Marquart
Phil Marquart

Dan Walde, Larry here is a prime example of lobbyists control our lawmakers! Even the wealthy farmers coops try to get laws passed regarding those cows we were talking about!

Shaddow Church
Shaddow Church

the information he claims to want to protect is already a matter of public record (addresses of cattle farms are very readily available)

Carly Pownall
Carly Pownall

Umm I don't think so! What we put into our bodies is our business, and the reports should be public!

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

Another outstate chicken fucking rube doing everything he can to ensure that the freedom to torture animals remains a right to their fellow rural fuckheads in Missurah. These inbred assfaces have diseased minds.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

Once again, the GOP want to protect the big money corporations.  What other purpose of this is there?

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