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30 May

Commerce Protection Act Could Silence Biotech Critics, Allow Monsanto Greater Freedom

A new "ag-gag" bill in North Carolina targets corporate whistleblowers, or as we call them, heroes. A new "ag-gag" bill in North Carolina targets corporate whistleblowers, or as we call them, heroes.

Protest mounts in North Carolina as lawmakers deliberate the "Commerce Protection Act," a measure that would deal jail time to anyone considering a foray into Brockovichian-style heroics.

The bill would provide the legal leverage needed to rid industrial giants such as Monsanto of tattletales, namely snitching employees and private investigators who "create or produce a record that reproduces an image or sound occurring within the employer’s facility, including a photographic, video, or audio" and "capture or remove data, paper, records, or any other documents" to use as evidence against business owners.

While it may succeed in making a person think twice before blowing the whistle on unlawful employers, the act has been condemned by nearly 60 organizations, including Amnesty International.

Critics have called the bill a "freedom of expression issue, a workers’ rights issue, an environmental issue and a public health issue," arguing that tipsters incriminated by the bill keep corporations and government within reach of public and judicial scrutiny.

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Similar to the Commerce Protection Act, other ag-gag bills have been in the works around the USA.
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