Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Legal matters

Last week, the Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice filed a lawsuit against the USDA challenging the USDA's decision to allow the planting of GM alfalfa. You can read more about it in their joint press release here.

In other legal news, the Iowa state house last week approved a bill that would criminalize secret videotaping of activities on farms, specifically related to the mistreatment of animals. While the ag industry is crying victim here, saying they're being held hostage by PETA and other animal rights groups, the larger issue is that investigations into farm and animal conditions would be illegal, if video was used. The bill could also apply to crops, not just animals. In other words, the makers of Food, Inc., could, under this bill, have been arrested if they'd filmed in Iowa and this bill had been law at the time the film was made. Florida is reportedly also considering a similar bill. The Iowa Senate has yet to weigh in.

If you're an ag company and you're supporting a bill that would make it illegal to video your crops, exactly what are you hiding? Yes, that is a somewhat rhetorical question, but I ask it because I don't personally know a single farmer who'd object to anyone filming their farming practices.

Other thoughts? I'd share more of mine but am posting this while I should be writing program notes. Back to Bartók.

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