Public Health Czar Discusses Measure B in L.A. Times Article

Public Health Czar Discusses Measure B in L.A. Times Article
Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES — Dr. Jonathan Fielding, who heads Los Angeles County's Department of Public Health, told the Los Angeles Times in a Q&A interview in today’s editions that no more than six health permit applications have been submitted by adult filmmakers since Measure B was enacted by voters.

Fielding spoke to the Times on an array of issues facing the health department, but the most revealing part of the interview was the murky future of Measure B, the county ordinance that  requires condoms for porn productions, as well as stringent rules on the porn set and two permits — one from the county’s Public Health department and Film LA, which issues film permits.

Measure B is under legal challenge by Vivid Entertainment and two performers in a case at Los Angeles Superior Court. A pending preliminary injuction motion over the law hasn't been ruled on.

Fielding said that the six Health Department applications is “not a very high number” considering Porn Valley has more than 200 studios and maybe even more webcam operations.

“We're working with them and with Cal/OSHA on a training course; they have to have somebody on site who's gone through this training,” Fielding said. “Our concern is what we're not able to see.

“We've sent inspectors out, one [for] a complaint and the other was [random]. We haven't found any problems yet. It's not an easy thing to enforce. The chance of us being there when they're filming — even if we were, they'd start using condoms right away.

“We agree with the intent [of the measure]; I'm just not sure we have a perfect way. A state law would be helpful, and the enforcing authority should be Cal/OSHA.”

Fielding noted that the county Public Health department already has investigators who already go to the sex clubs that also are regulated, “so it's not like we've not had some experience here. It's already in their bailiwick,” he said.

Fielding declined comment in the Q&A on pending litigation involving the AIDS Healthcare Foundation relative to Measure B and the AHF’s new push to create a new Los Angeles city public health department.