VEGGIE LIBEL LAW

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States across the country are now proposing legislation to make the taking of pictures or video of farms or food production facilities illegal. Robby Kenner, director of the documentary film, “Food Inc.”, feels that consumers have a right to know how their food is produced.

Veggie Libel Law

Anywhere, USA
3 February 2011

VEGGIE LIBEL LAW (AKA “Food Disparagement Law”)

13 states⁺ have passed laws to criminalize any behavior which may endanger the profits of a food company (this includes defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures).  ⁺(Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas.  12 of these states’ statutes are civil; it is criminal in Colorado.)

ROBBY KENNER (MAKER OF THE FILM “FOOD, INC.”) SAYS THE FOOD INDUSTRY HAS LITTLE INTEREST IN LETTING US KNOW WHERE OUR FOOD COMES FROM AND WHAT’S IN IT. His biggest shock came during a Congressional hearing on whether cloned meat should be labeled.  When the industry rep said “I don’t think it is in the interest of the consumers to be given this kind of information…it would just be too confusing,” it became all too clear the extent to which information about what we eat is off limits. (Was this why Robby make “Food, Inc.”?) Robby was curious to know where our food comes from and how we can feed the world in a more sustainable way.

OTHER RELATED TERMS

High Fructose Corn Syrup
Means any group of corn syrups that have undergone enzymatic processing in order to convert a portion of its glucose into fructose and produce a desired sweetness.Irradiation
Is the exposure of materials to radiation. Food irradiation is the exposing of food to ionizing radiation in order to destroy microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, or insects that may be present in the food. Other applications include delay of ripening, sprout inhibition, increase of juice yield and re-hydration improvement.
 
Genetically Engineered Food/Frankenfood
Foods that are derived from genetically modified organisms. Organisms that have been genetically modified have had specific changed introduced into their DNA through genetic engineering techniques.
 
Processed Food
Any food other than a raw agricultural commodity including any raw agricultural commodity that has been either canned, cooked, frozen, dehydrated, or milled. As an extension, processed food is also used to infer convenience food, which is commercially prepared food designed for ease of consumption. Such foods have been criticized for being full of saturated fats, sodium, and sugar and for providing little to no nutritional value. (In addition their artificial additives can produce food allergies, weight gain, and cause cancer.)
 
Dirty Dozen
Pesticide residue from conventionally grown produce does not entirely wash off under the tap at home. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the 12 most contaminated foods that should be avoided by buying organic. Doing so will substantially lower your pesticide intake. They are: Apples, Celery, Strawberries, Peaches, Spinach, Nectarines (imported), Grapes (imported), Sweet bell peppers, Potatoes, Blueberries (domestic), Lettuce, and Kale/collard greens. This list is compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) whose mission is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.
 
Food Democracy
Emphasizes social justice within the food system and is based upon the doctrine that citizens have the power to determine food policies locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Food Democracy upholds the idea that it is a right and responsibility of citizens everywhere to participate in decisions concerning their food system. In challenging the corporate food structure the goal is to ensure that all citizens have access to healthy, affordable and culturally appropriate foods.

 

ADDITIONAL TEXT TAKEN FROM THE PHOTOGRAPH

“Eating food that is produced in an industrial manner just doesn’t taste as good as it used to.” – Robby Kenner.

About Robby Kenner

In his critically acclaimed, Oscar nominated 2009 documentary, Food, Inc., Kenner explored our nation’s food industry and exposed how our food supply is manufactured and controlled by just a few companies, with often disastrous results.  The film features interviews with Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and Stonyfield Farms’ Gary Hirshberg, and reveals shocking truths about where our food comes from as well as observations about who we have become as a nation.  Kenner has appeared on such shows as Nightline and  The Daily Show.  His previous film, Two Days in October, a PBS American Experience special, received the 2006 Peabody and the Emmy for exceptional merit in Non-Fiction Filmmakng.

 

ADDITIONAL WEBSITES OF INTEREST

Food, Inc. [official movie website]

Food Speak: Food-Disparagement Laws: State Civil & Criminal Statutes

Robert Kenner Films

Michael Pollan talks about the threat of food crisis

Food, Inc. Producer Robert Kenner on Industrialization of our food supply 

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