Hidden Cameras, Puppy Mills, and Pork

Kristi Piehl has an interesting piece up on MinnPost’s Blog Cabin about a proposed bill authored by Senator Doug Magnus (R) District 22 and Representative Rod Hamilton (R) District: 22B (both are from the SW corner of the state).

She received this alert from the Humane Society about the the bill:

“Two critical bills, S.F. 1118/HF 1369 (authored by Sen. Doug Magnus and Rep. Rod Hamilton – the chairs of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees) were introduced in the legislature this week. If passed, these bills criminalize anyone blowing the whistle on animal cruelty (including puppy and kitten mills), food and worker safety, labor abuses, and environmental crimes, etc, by making it a crime to video tape and show footage shot inside a puppy/kitten mill or factory farm. These bills also make the possession and distribution of this information (images) a crime, including possession and distribution by the news media. Unfortunately similar bills have also been proposed in Florida and Iowa.”

Piehl riffed on that except to build a piece about the media implications of this proposed bill. As Piehl mentions, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear from undercover investigations into your business practices.

But Magnus and Hamilton aren’t media ethicists. Can you guess what they’re occupations are? Farmers. Yep. Farmers.

For example, Republican Representative Rod Hamilton lists his occupation on his state bio as “Pork Producer”.

If there are food safety issues in Rep. Rod Hamilton’s pork producing operation, he wants to make it illegal for you to document it.

If Rep. Rod Hamilton has unsafe conditions for his workers on his farm, he wants to make it illegal for you to document it.

If Rep. Rod Hamilton is violating labor laws in his pork producing facility, he wants to make it illegal for you to document it.

If Rep. Rod Hamilton is treating the environment like crap, he wants to make it illegal for you to document it.

As I see it, Rep. Rod Hamilton is using his position of power to make telling the truth illegal. Even worse, he’s in a position to personally financially benefit from criminalizing truth telling.

If I can’t trust pork producers like Rep. Rod Hamilton to let the truth to be told about their industry, should I trust them with my health? As much as I love pork, this is downright scary behavior from a person in the food chain that I have to be able to trust.

8 thoughts on “Hidden Cameras, Puppy Mills, and Pork”

  1. Ed–Thank you for picking this up. Even people who don’t want to know what cruelty takes place behind the closed doors of factory farms should be alarmed, from a food-safety perspective. The reason this bill came up is specifically because of successful undercover investigations.

    Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection has more information about how people can get involved:

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