Associated Press
FILE - In this file image provided by Mercy for Animals, Sept. 1, 2009, a frame grab from a video made by an undercover member of the group shows male chicks being tossed into a grinder at a hatchery in Spencer, Iowa.

The Utah Senate is currently considering a misguided bill that would criminalize taking photographs and videos of an animal factory farm, even if that evidence shows animal abuse or violations of food safety regulations. If passed, this bill will have harmful repercussions for Utahns.

In 2008, a whistle-blower produced a video showing evidence that a meat-processing plant was slaughtering sick cows for human consumption in clear violation of food safety laws. This led to the largest recall of beef in U.S. history, including 300,000 pounds of potentially contaminated beef that was about to be served in Utah's public school cafeterias.

I have grandchildren in public schools and it is very upsetting to me that our Legislature thinks it is more important to provide protection for the bad apples in the agriculture industry than it is to protect animals from abuse, our food from contamination and our children's health. If the Senate passes this bill and eliminates the last semblance of transparency and oversight for meat production, I will encourage my grandchildren to become vegetarians for their own safety.

Colleen Hatfield

Salt Lake City