Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke January 31, 2023

Cause of Hillandale Farm fire is unclear, but claims of government plot are unsubstantiated

If Your Time is short

  • The cause of a Jan. 28 fire that killed about 100,000 hens at Hillandale Farms in Bozrah, Connecticut is under investigation. We found no evidence to corroborate the unsubstantiated claim that the blaze was part of a government plot to starve Americans into compliance. 

An estimated 100,000 hens died in a Jan. 28 fire at Hillandale Farms in Bozrah, Connecticut. Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the blaze. But some social media users have reached their own conclusions. 

"Our government is actively destroying our own food supply so that they can force us into eating their fake GMO meats, or starve us into compliance," reads one Instagram post sharing news about the fire. 

"This is all part of their ‘climate agenda,’" the post’s caption says. "It’s public knowledge what their goal is, and these are the underhanded criminal ways they go about it."  

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Hillandale is one of the country’s largest egg producers, but Connecticut Department of Agriculture officials said the fire’s effect on egg prices is expected to be "minimal to none," The Associated Press reported.

Featured Fact-check

Hillandale didn’t respond to PolitiFact’s questions about the fire. In a Jan. 30 statement, Hillandale said its team "continues to work closely with the local fire departments and state officials to thoroughly investigate the fire." 

"Although it remains under investigation, we are currently working with local and state authorities to determine the cause," the statement read. 

We left a message with the Bozrah fire department asking about the fire’s cause but didn’t immediately hear back.  

But we’ve previously examined claims that agricultural incidents and fires at processing plants were part of a planned food shortage or an "attempt to starve us." We rated those claims False. Most of the cited incidents involving fires and "destroyed" poultry weren’t suspicious, according to authorities. And, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are currently no nationwide food shortages or widespread disruptions reported in the supply chain, although "in some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock." 

We looked for credible news reports or other sources suggesting that this fire was suspicious and found none. We also unearthed no sign that this fire was part of a government plot; that claim is unfounded. 

We rate it False.


Our Sources

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Ciara O'Rourke

Cause of Hillandale Farm fire is unclear, but claims of government plot are unsubstantiated

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up