Who do they think they're fooling?
Under the guise of privacy protection, several state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would make it illegal for anyone to take a photograph on a farm without the owner's permission.
That sounds harmless but the objective is not to protect Old MacDonald from nosy neighbors. It's to protect large-scale producers of the public's food from employee-whistleblowers who often have exposed unsanitary, inhumane and dangerous conditions and practices. Several other states with large industrial farming operations have passed similar "ag-gag" bills.
Rep. Gary Haluska, a Cambria County Democrat and the bill's sponsor, claimed that all farms in Pennsylvania are adequately regulated. If so, why the bill? The truth is that inspection is sporadic, and whistleblowers can fill in the gaps.
The bill directly contradicts a state law the protects whistleblowers and it raises significant freedom of speech issues. It should be plowed under.