Filed Under: Meat

Kennedy’s Pork Police Hit Iowa

Farmers be warned: Anti-pork activists from across the nation (including “labor leaders,” “attorneys,” and “animal welfare and community activists”) will descend on Clear Lake, Iowa, on Friday, April 5 for the Second Annual Hog Summit, where they will “discuss strategies for battling the factory meat industry and for promoting sustainable hog farming.”

Leading the way is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., head of the Water Keeper Alliance, an anti-consumer outfit funded by the Moore Charitable Foundation, the Turner Foundation, and many others. [For more on where Water Keeper gets its money, visit]

Robert Boyle, founder of environmental group Riverkeeper (the predecessor to Water Keeper), has said Kennedy is “very reckless,” and has “assumed an arrogance above his intellectual stature,” and attorney George Rodenhausen, who has worked with Kennedy, says he “separates himself from good science at times in order to aggressively pursue an issue and win.”

Kennedy is turning that aggression against pork producers. Using racketeering laws meant to nab mobsters, he says his group “can put an end to this industry” — and coincidentally put farmers out of work. He will not stop there. Referring to the poultry and beef industries, Kennedy last year: “We’re starting with hogs. After the hogs, then we are going after the other ones.”

How did a Kennedy get so interested pork? In 1984, Kennedy was arrested for criminal possession of heroin and sentenced to 800 hours of community service. He served it out by volunteering with the Hudson River Foundation (which later became Water Keeper) and after fulfilling his sentence stayed on as an attorney for the organization.

After his hiring of a convicted environmental criminal led eight members of the group’s board to resign, Kennedy has seized control as the undisputed force behind Water Keeper. Kennedy has assembled a team of big-name attorneys to sue pork producers with the same tactics used against tobacco. He estimates potential “damages” of up to $13 billion. “We have attorneys now who have money and they know what they’re doing,” he has bragged.

The “sustainable” pork Kennedy and the other anti-consumer activists gathering in Clear Lake support costs considerably more than conventionally produced pork — a system similar to the one Kennedy promotes is practiced in Sweden, where pork prices have risen as high as $12 per pound. Kennedys can afford that; average Americans cannot. But Kennedy believes multi-billion-dollar victories are in sight — even if along the way he drives companies out of business, forces thousands of workers out of their jobs, and drives up the price of pork for consumers.

“We have lawyers with the deepest pockets, and they’ve agreed to fight the industry to the end,” says Kennedy. “We’re going to go after all of them.”

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