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Minnesota Reps Behind Ag-Gag Bill Have Factory-Farm Ties

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Farm Issues page, Factory Farms page, Florida News page, Minnesota News page, Iowa News page, and our Politics and Democracy page.

Now that The New York Times editorial page has come out against what are now known as "Ag-gag" laws (thanks, Mark Bittman!), I think we can say this story has truly gone national. These laws, on the books in a few states already and quickly moving through legislatures in Florida, Iowa, and Minnesota, would attempt to make it illegal to produce -- and in Minnesota to possess -- undercover videos of livestock factory farms.

But a blogger has offered a whole new twist on this story. In Minnesota, at least, it's not the massive factory farms that reek to high heaven. So too does the legislative process around this bill. According to Shari Danielson at Simple, Good and Tasty, several of the cosponsors of the bill in the Minnesota House and Senate are themselves farmers.

I mentioned in my post on the Minnesota law that the bill's lead author, Rep. Rod Hamilton, is a pig farmer. But Danielson observes that he works for Christensen Family Farms, "which raises three million pigs a year, making it the third largest pork producer in the U.S." His job? Director of communications -- Christensen's chief media spokesperson.

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