When we told you yesterday about the racketeering lawsuits filed against hog producer Smithfield Foods by Robert Kennedy’s “Water Keeper Alliance,” initial news reports had indicated that the battle would be fought only in North Carolina. Everything we know about Kennedy and his brand of activism, though, suggested all along that he would run his crusade on a nationwide scale. As more information comes out, it looks like we were right. According to the Associated Press, there were two lawsuits filed on Wednesday: one in North Carolina, and another in Florida. In addition, the coalition of enviro-nannies and their attorneys filed notices of intent to bring five more lawsuits (four more in North Carolina, and one in Missouri).
Yesterday’s late edition of the Denver Post quoted Smithfield’s corporate response to this legal game of divide-and-conquer: “If Mr. Kennedy truly believed that the nation’s environmental laws were not being enforced, he would be suing the EPA to demand enforcement. But these lawsuits are not about the environment. They are about the social agenda of a group of unelected, unaccountable trial lawyers.” And, we might add, they’re also about Kennedy’s desire to push his anti-agribusiness agenda no matter whose free choice is threatened.