Browsing Posts tagged National Animal Identification System

By: Doreen Hannes

Doreen HannesBio

Doreen Hannes is the Director of Research for the National
Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (NICFA)
and is dedicated to weeding through the lies, half truths, and mis- and disinformation to
help people to understand the methods and propaganda being used to manipulate us….and to dig for the truth. As -civil-ization is predicated upon agriculture, the goal of those who would be our masters is to control the land, control the food, and thereby control the people….otherwise known as the global implementation of  Agenda 21. If we lose our ability to feed ourselves, we will not be able to fight against anything else. Doreen blogs at Truth
Farmer
and you can listen to her radio show, Truth Farmer, at Liberty News Radio and read her articles at News with Views.

On May 11th, the USDA held the first of three public meetings on their “New
NAIS” program “Animal Disease Traceability”. The meeting began
at 8am with three power point presentations. California State Veterinarian,
Dr. Richard Breitmeyer gave the first presentation. This was the same presentation
he gave at the mid-March NIAA (National Institute of Animal Agriculture) meeting,
also held in Kansas City.

A little history is in order to understand the progression of this idea
for animal traceability. In the US, the first notable plan for identifying
animals was the NFAIP, along with FAIR, those being the National Farm Animal
Identification Program and Farm Animal Identification and Records. Then under
the Bush Administration there was the United States Animal Identification
Plan, with the NAIS, National Animal Identification System hot on it’s heels.
Now, they have “killed” NAIS, but are moving forward with the Animal
Disease Traceability plan, the ADT. The main difference here is that the USDA
is going to make a rule on the ADT to prescribe the “performance standards” for
traceability that the states MUST meet to engage in interstate commerce with
the ADT.

Breitmeyer’s presentation focused on the difficulties around tracing the
contacts of tubercular (and suspect) cattle in the state of California and
other states without the aid of an interoperable database covering all animals
and all movements. According to his presentation, the state of California
has approximately 57,500 known live cattle imports from Mexico per year. This
is significant in that more than 75% of all tuberculosis in cattle is of Mexican
origin. Breitmeyer lamented that when he began as a vet 25 years ago, the
US had nearly eliminated TB except for in small areas of northern Michigan
and northern Minnesota where the soil make up continues to keep TB in the
wildlife and therefore occasionally in cattle. Breitmeyer’s presentation was
actually quite a good illustration of many of the failed policies of the USDA
in disease control, the lack of quarantine at the borders chief among them.
Of course, he is a proponent of a NAIS style system because having all that
data available would make his job easier…At least on paper.

The second presentation was given by a very soft-spoken APHIS/VS (Veternary
Services) representative, Dr. TJ Mayer. He stressed that the “theme” for
the development of the “new” program is “collaboration”.
Those to be affected must be involved in the process of developing the solution
for the lack of traceability that now exists— particularly in cattle. Cattle
are the primary focus for this new plan, and the methodology for bringing
cattle to 95% traceability back to the point of identification in 2 business
days is dependent on “collaboration” in developing the processes
in our states. (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?) Mayer also illustrated that
the desired traceability would be implemented gradually through partnerships
of stakeholders and building upon the requirements outlined in the rule that
is to be developed for criteria that states must meet for interstate commerce.

The third presentation was by Becky Brewer (Oklahoma State Vet) and the
apparent lead member of the newly established “Regulatory Working Group”.
Dr. Brewer related the thinking of the Regulatory Working Group on the measurable
outcomes of the ‘traceability’ standards to arrive at 95% of “all” animals
traced back to the ‘traceability unit’ within 2 business days. Sounds just
like the NAIS Business Plan, doesn’t it? Brewer stated, “In government
speak, “all” doesn’t mean all.” This may explain why the USDA
kept insisting that when opponents of NAIS cited documents verbatim, we were “spreading
misinformation”. Evidently the English language is a linguistic and statistical
anomaly in the hands and mouths of bureaucrats.

There were no question and answer sessions after the presentations. Instead
every table was given a USDA facilitator and three segments of questions to
answer regarding how we might achieve the desired outcome of getting animals
id’d back to the ‘traceability unit’ within their timeframes. The tables were
marked with species placards and there were at least five cattle tables, three
swine, two poultry, one sheep and goat, and one “other species”.

When I entered the room I noticed that Kenny Fox of R CALF USA was at a
cattle table and I failed to notice the “other species” table so
I sat at the sheep and goat table. There were no people at the poultry tables.
The cattle tables were quite full, and all of the reporters were sitting at
the ‘other species’ table, so I thought I would just sit at the empty sheep
and goat table.

When the facilitating began, I was blessed with three USDA representatives
at my table, where all the other tables only had one. I shared the table with
one sheep broker from New Mexico. He deals in 20 to 30,000 head of sheep annually
mostly exported to Mexico and was quite content with the Scrapie program.
This program identifies breeding animals back to the flock of origin with
a number assigned to the flock manager and not the land the animals are held
on. It also allows for tattoos as an alternate form of official id for interstate
commerce, and does not use RFID tags, although it could in the future.

The USDA representatives at my table were not particularly interested in
hearing about how the failed agricultural policies have created a problem
that the USDA would now like all of us to ‘partner’ with them to solve. They
did take copious notes, and were quite proficient in ‘mirroring’ my statements
while slightly adjusting them to fit their desired outcome more handily.

At the end of each of the three segments, a representative from each table
stood and gave the ‘report’ from the table on that segment. The consensus
of the cattle groups were that only breeders should be identified, RFID tags
should be avoided, back tags should continue to be used for feeders and slaughter
cows, and a NAIS styled system would not work at all.

The USDA is currently promoting the use of ‘bright’ tags for cattle. These
are very similar to brucellosis tags in numbering and appearance. However,
when the only question and answer segment of the day took place and Neil Hammerschmidt
(one of the main authors of NAIS) gave most of the answers, he made it clear
that the USDA still wants to ‘aggressively’ pursue the use of 840 tags.

The bottom line about the entire meeting is that the USDA will try to have
a draft rule ready in June from the “Regulatory Working Group”.
This rule will define the “performance standards” that are to be
met by the states to engage in interstate commerce. The USDA plans to publish
this proposed rule in November or December of 2010, allow a 90-day comment
period, and finalize the rule (make it law) from 8-10 months after the comment
period is complete. There may be different requirements under these performance
standards by species, and some potentially exempted sectors or movements.
There is admitted concern from the USDA and their friends that incentives
and disincentives for states must be expressed clearly and not be too “heavy
handed”. In other words, if a state meets compliance levels in hogs and
not cattle, the hogs should not be refused access to interstate commerce.

It appears to me that we must proactively engage our state legislators
to statutorily define requirements for interstate livestock movement and not
allow the Departments of Agriculture the leeway to cooperate with the USDA
to achieve the goals of the USDA as those goals are still NAIS oriented. The
USDA will not dismantle the National Premises Repository although Hammerschmidt
stated that if a state were to want to withdraw all of their participants,
they could do so. Also, according to Hammerschmidt, they still want to move
‘aggressively’ to 840 tags as official identification along with electronic
Certificates of Veterinary Inspection.

The onus of implementing the graduated Animal Disease Traceability program
rests squarely on the individual states. Either the states will define those
standards statutorily or the USDA will bring about their final desires incrementally
through the regulatory process.

Editor’s Note: Past Sec. of Agriculture, now Senator Mike Johanns was the chief NAIS enforcer fighting for a mandatory NAIS just a couple years ago. He was charged with cutting the first deals with Farm Bureau, the Holstein Assn USA Inc, National Pork Producers Council, Indian tribes, the American Angus Assn and every state department of agriculture, providing “grants” to enroll their producer’s premises in NAIS — over one hundred million dollars.

His repentant pleadings and demands for the complete death of NAIS is clear. Seldom does a Senator define their views with this detail and clarity.

Now, for the first time, his presentation is the exact position of the US livestock producer. Finally, a clear defined true picture is offered by a USDA insider who promoted NAIS with his whole heart, then with no notice, resigned, realizing NAIS was devastating to USDA and the producer. This is the voice of experience.

We compliment Senator Johanns for his honesty, at this time.

USDA Signals NAIS is Dead

2/8/2010
Max Thornsberry

After a long-fought six-year battle, independent cattle producers have finally succeeded in stopping the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), which was an onerous plan conceived by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and promoted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), domestic and multinational ear tag companies, as well as multinational meat packers and their closely aligned trade associations.

The battle was extremely lopsided. USDA had millions of dollars of taxpayer money — over $140 million to be precise — to develop and promote NAIS and to persuade state departments of agriculture and cattle industry trade associations to recruit as many independent cattle producers as possible into the ill-fated NAIS program. According to the Web site www.usaspending.gov, the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, part of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), received over $2.1 million from the federal government in 2008 to promote NAIS.

Armed with millions of dollars and six years worth of joint government and processing-industry planning, how did NAIS get stopped?

The answer is that NAIS was stopped by the persistent, relentless pressure applied by a handful of non-conventional organizations that exclusively represented the interests of cattle farmers and ranchers, not the interests of the industrialized sectors of the U.S. beef supply chain. This was a David versus Goliath battle in which David won and the interests of independent cattle producers came out on top.

These recent victories by independent cattle producers, with far less political clout and economic power than their conventional beef industry trade association counterparts, strongly suggests that there remains a genuine reason for hope that independent cattle producers can reverse the present course of their industry — a course that is fast leading toward more and more corporate control over the U.S. cattle industry by beef packers that are capturing control over the live cattle supply chain, just as they have already captured control over both the poultry and hog supply chains.

The beef packers are now focusing their efforts on the feeding sector of the cattle industry by purchasing more and more feedlots (JBS recently purchased the nation’s largest feedlot company, Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding, L.L.C.) and gaining increased control over the fed cattle market through the use of new cattle procurement tools, such as certain marketing agreements and formula-type contracts that effectively reduce the competitiveness of the fed cattle cash market.

As with every major policy issue victory, the real work begins now.

Now that NAIS has been scrapped, a new program needs to be developed to achieve improvements in the United States’ ability to quickly contain and control animal diseases. Independent cattle producers must remain directly involved in the development of this new program to ensure that it does not infringe upon their rights and privileges as did NAIS.

It is encouraging that when Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced he was going to pursue a new approach to animal disease traceability, he also announced that the U.S. must strengthen its import controls to prevent the introduction of animal diseases at our borders. This is a high priority for independent cattle producers who intrinsically understand that we cannot continue importing diseases like BSE, bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis if we desire to maintain our industry’s reputation of producing the healthiest cattle in the world — a reputation that is the U.S. cattle industry’s competitive advantage in both the domestic market and the global market.

I encourage every cattle producer to take a new look at the relatively new organizations that have amassed uncanny successes for independent cattle producers despite seemingly impossible odds. Each of the organizations that brought us to where we’re at today is not likely to lead us in a new direction. But some of these new organizations will and they need your support to continue winning their fight to restore for the U.S. cattle industry the opportunity for U.S. cattle producers to maintain independent and profitable cattle-producing businesses all across the United States.

The future of the U.S. cattle industry is in your hands and will be determined by which organization you choose to support.

The NAIS that USDA was attempting to force down the throats of independent U.S. cattle producers, utilizing our own tax dollars, would have completely changed the way cattle farmers and ranchers do business.

While obtaining a premises ID number — the first step to a nationwide NAIS — required no effort, the second and third steps in the onerous WTO-mandated system would have been costly, difficult, and, I believe, would have generated rebellion on the range. Reporting the movement of every animal, once it left its birth farm of origin, was a completely unworkable system for producers, especially those operating in our most populous cow states, where the average cowherd size is 30 to 40 mother cows.

Imagine having to get your cattle in a chute, read the tags electronically, and report the numbers to USDA every time you moved a set of calves to another pasture, your Dad’s place, or sent a group of calves to the sale barn. Not only were you going to be required to read the tags electronically, but you were going to be required to report the tag numbers to the appropriate authorities within 48 hours of that movement, or you would be out of compliance and subject to enforcement fines: A range rebellion in the making, and completely unnecessary for a first world country like the United States.

At least for the time-being, the government has listened to the people. A spike has been driven into the heart of a one-world government’s dictatorial rule.

Maybe our Constitution is not dead?

If you eat… you need to stop NAIS


Scenic

The
Wicked NAIS Witch is NOT dead!

February 7th, 2010

Obama gave us a hint of things to come in his recent State of the [Agriculture]
speech. We did not have to wait long before we had “earth-shattering”
news regarding NAIS.  Supposedly the government listened
to the people and responded.  But if you dig deeper you will find out the
truth of the matter.

How many times will global food control be re-defined and transformed?
As many times as it takes to confuse the public into believing that there
is “no global food control scheme”.  Now say the BIG LIE ten times quickly.
The bottom line is that you can shake your head and repeat “there is no
global control scheme” but that is not going to make it reality.    The
NAIS has been passed off safely and securely into international hands,
right on their global food control schedule, 2010.

The re-definition and transformation of NAIS the international food control
players have just tightened their iron-grip, consolidated power, and cast
a broader net.  You can see this clearly in new 2010 legislation/regulation/treaties
and reading in between the political mantra lines.  We now have expanded
the limited three pillar program of Premises Identification, Electronic
Animal Identification, and Tracing…to now include: Animal Health, Animal
Welfare, Veterinary Drugs, Animal Feeding, and Food Safety.

A Total Food Control Package

For clarification:                              Traceability
= NAIS

New Plan

Remember!

1.  NAIS is a Living Document that
will always change and evolve.  You will never know the final rules for
compliance because there will never be any distinguishing rules.

From Government Document obtained
under Public Disclosure

2.  NAIS is one tool in the toolkit.
The global food controllers have just revealed more “tools” in their kit.
We can expect more.

The February 5, 2020 USDA move was an orchestrated
9-11 style move.  Across the country veterinarians, active and retired
were advised of the new “Traceability Framework”.  By noon, the USDA had
disposed of evidence from the NAIS crime scene.  From out of “nowhere”
came resounding support for the new Framework from the AVMA to species
groups.

More documentation will be coming…it is
a matter of what prioritizing the international info ducks.  Stay  tuned.

From the trenches…….

The Associated Press misreported this morning that “The USDA Abandons Stalled Animal ID Program.” A press release issued last Friday by the USDA hints at another fate.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA will develop a new, flexible framework for animal disease traceability in the United States, and undertake several other actions to further strengthen its disease prevention and response capabilities.

Did you understand that statement? The USDA, after a 15 city listening tour last summer, has decided listening is highly overrated. They seemed to understand, acknowledging hearing “a wide variety of comments during the listening tour.”

A document on USDA web site said, “Some people were in favor of NAIS, but the vast majority of participants were highly critical of the program. Some of the concerns and criticisms raised included confidentiality, liability, cost, privacy, and religion. There were also concerns about NAIS being the wrong priority for USDA, that the system benefits only large-scale producers, and that NAIS is unnecessary because existing animal identification systems are sufficient.”

So they’re trying to re-invent the program, make it more palatable to people who signaled their willingness to stand at the farm gate, armed and dangerous, to prevent any part of a government mandated NAIS from creeping into their business.

If the USDA has trouble reading the tea leaves, let Lorrie Morgan explain it to you.

To be more specific, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “After concluding our listening tour on the National Animal Identification System in 15 cities across the country, receiving thousands of comments from the public and input from States, Tribal Nations, industry groups, and representatives for small and organic farmers, it is apparent that a new strategy for animal disease traceability is needed. I’ve decided to revise the prior policy and offer a new approach to animal disease traceability with changes that respond directly to the feedback we heard.”

What part of no don’t you understand?

The feedback he was talking about was clear, painfully so. Excruciatingly obvious. As plain as the nose on an anteater’s face.

It was “No. Not now. Not ever.”

Most every small farmer and rancher responded with the kind of “cold, dead fingers” response that would gladden the heart of Charlton Heston. Not to repeat myself but I attended two listening sessions; Jeff City and Omaha. The one lone pro-NAIS speaker in Jeff City never finished his spiel. Fearing for his safety, he fled a very hostile audience in mid-speech. The Omaha crowd wasn’t nearly as angry but their message was the same.

It was “No. Not now. Not ever.”

But an ever optimistic Vilsack announced these basic tenets of an ‘improved’ animal disease traceability program. The new plan will –

* Only apply to animals moved in interstate commerce;
* Be administered by the States and Tribal Nations to provide more flexibility;
* Encourage the use of lower-cost technology; and
* Be implemented transparently through federal regulations and the full rulemaking process.

“One of my main goals for this new approach is to build a collaborative process for shaping and implementing our framework for animal disease traceability,” said Vilsack. “We are committed to working in partnership with States, Tribal Nations and industry in the coming months to address many of the details of this framework, and giving ample opportunity for farmers and ranchers and the public to provide us with continued input through this process.”

May I call on Lorrie Morgan, again?

The USDA will convene a forum with animal health leaders for the States and Tribal Nations to initiate a dialogue about ‘possible ways of achieving the flexible, coordinated approach to animal disease traceability we envision.’ Let’s hope they invite all the stakeholders and be prepared to duck and cover.

Chuck Jolley is a free lance writer, based in Kansas City, who covers a wide range of ag industry topics for Cattlenetwork.com and Agnetwork.com.

The Milkweed

Dairy’s best marketing info and insight
P.O. Box 10, Brooklyn, WI 53521 – (608) 455-2400 (c) 2002 – 2008 The Milkweed all rights reserved

by John Bunting

$9,995.00? $9,995.00??? NINE THOUSAND,    NINE HUNDRED, NINETY FIVE DOLLARS?????    On December 28, 2009, critics of USDA’s    goofy plans to mandate radio-frequency identification    devices (RFIDs) in all livestock got just the fodder    they need to set livestock country afire in protest:    the price tag for this absurd government mandate —    the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).    Forget USDA’s “cost-benefit” analysis claiming    that computer-chipped livestock ear tags would    cost about $3 to $5 dollars apiece. The cost of those    ear tags, even when purchased in minimum lots of    100, is peanuts, compared to the accompanying    hardware necessary to use those ear tags.

$9,995.00. That’s the “bundled startup kit” cost offered with a discount of $1,905.36, when compared to the costs of the components in the “startup kit,” if    those items were purchased separately.

$9,995.00 out-of-pocket costs so livestock producers    may comply with USDA’s intended mandate to require all livestock in the U.S. to be monitored with ear tags containing computer chips? In Missouri, for example, a hotbed of anti-NAIS, the average beef cattle operator has 35 head. In these money-losing times for beef ranchers, how can Uncle Sam demand livestock raisers shell out a minimum of $9,995 for a “startup kit” for this foolishness.

The December 28, 2009 press release said:
“Eriginate™ Corporation announced today the    approval of its eTattoo™ tag by the United States    Department of Agriculture (USDA). The approval    marks the first ultra-high radio frequency identification    tag (UHF RFID) and the first non-low frequency    tag (LF) to be approved for use with the ‘840’    Animal Identification Number (AIN).”

This private electronic devise is approved by    the USDA for use in the controversial National Animal Identification System (NAIS) program. USDA has promoted this program as a winning solution for everyone in animal agriculture.

Many persons in animal agriculture have objected for many reasons, including religious objections.

USDA has posted a cost/benefit analysis available at: http://animalid.aphis.usda.gov/nais/naislibrary/
documents/plans_reports/NAIS_overview_report.pdf

In the overview cost/benefit analysis, USDA explains the “Economic benefits in both the    domestic and international marketplace resulting    from enhanced traceability may be greater than the    cost savings realized during animal disease control    and eradication efforts.”

On page 5 of this same document, USDA    states, ” Tags and tagging costs vary among cattle    producers with 50 head from $3.30 to $5.22 per cow,    depending on current identification practices.” Well,    that cost/analysis is not exactly correct because the    eartags are the only low-cost element in the system.    In addition to the tags you need the reader or    scanner.

eTattoo™ conveniently has a “starter” kit.

$9,995!!! That “startup kit costs    $99.95 per animal!!!

This kit would be the basic requirement for a    small family dairy of say 50 milking cows. Replacement tags, and they certainly will be necessary, are a low $395 per hundred.

eTattoo™ claims, “Tags will accommodate    handwritten management numbers.” What exactly    is missing here? Anyone might think these fancy    tags would eliminate the need for “handwritten management    numbers.” What will government bureaucrats    and their anointed corporate beneficiaries conjure    up next?

Get yours while supplies last at:    http://www.etattootag.com

Company contact information:
Mailing address:
eriginate Corporation
PO Box 189
LeRoy, MN 55951-0189

Phone: (785) 694-3468
E-mail: Info@eriginate.com
Web site: www.etattootag.com

Harmful to small & medium farmers

Is USDA intentionally trying to destroy the nation’s small and medium livestock producers? USDA ultimately intends to mandate electronic livestock identification. Few small/medium livestock producers will be able to afford $10,000 for such technology. The margins in livestock have generally been negative. USDA has misrepresented costs for the NAIS program.

by Richard Oswald – 1/31/2010

Blue MoonYear in and year out, things here stay pretty much the same. We still have death and taxes. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and the North Star is always perfectly positioned above the neighbor’s barn.

But on rare occasions the finer aspects of nature (and people) become a bit less predictable.

The year ended in Langdon the same way it did in the rest of North America, with a Blue Moon. (That’s a full moon at both the beginning and the end of the month.)

It was that kind of year from start to finish. We had a late spring, an unusually cool growing season, rainfall that was nearly double the normal amount, an earthquake, and a difficult harvest followed by blizzards throughout December — all stuff that only happens once in a Blue Moon.

Dump The Pork TaxOnce in a blue moon folks like me get to thinking that some of the out-of-whack things in America might somehow be getting better for our food — and the people who raise it.

The pork checkoff election

A few years back a lot of us were giving high fives when U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman took the unusual step of allowing pork producers to decide whether or not to keep the pork check-off — a mandatory fee paid into a marketing fund each time a hog is sold.

Say No To NAISA majority of pork producers voted to repeal the check-off rather than continue funding the agenda of big pork processing corporations. That’s because packers and their best buddies had camouflaged themselves to look like producers instead of end-users.

Small producers were being sold down the river by big agribusiness.

Hog growers were working under contracts with the packers that were harsh and difficult to enforce. Hog raisers couldn’t find reliable markets, and those who tried to compete on their own with the big packers were giving up and leaving the farm in droves.

The revolt against the pork checkoff was one of those blue moon moments.

Glickman answered the will of the farmer, approved a referendum on the check-off, and when a vast majority of producers voted to end it, he certified the results. The check-off tax was dead.

Unfortunately, Glickman left town with the rest of the Clinton administration before the results of the referendum could be enacted. His Bush administration successor, Anne Veneman, set the election results aside, telling producers their voluntarily-funded checkoff project had now essentially become a mandatory federal tax.

For the most part we don’t get to vote on taxes in America. We only get to vote on the people in Congress who establish them. The pork check-off was different. It was voted in by the people who would pay it, and the same people voted it out (until Sec. Veneman intervened).

Sometimes the government just doesn’t seem to hear us very well. It happens over and over.

Mad cow disease

For example, U.S. beef producers wanted to certify their own beef as BSE (Mad Cow Disease) free. It seemed a reasonable request, since we were losing business outside the U.S. because other countries feared that they were importing BSE meat. But the big packers didn’t want that label because it would have allowed small producers to gain an advantage in exports, a coveted retail market.

Even though U.S. producers such as Creekstone Farms and Gateway Beef were going to test for BSE in every animal they sold, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that only the government could test for BSE.

Of course, BSE didn’t come from U.S. beef, but from imports from Canada or Great Britain. The big meat packers didn’t want that to be accepted knowledge because beef imported from Canada and elsewhere can be a cheap source of profit.

Once in a blue moon things change, and “change” was the promise of the Obama campaign in 2008.

Things are definitely looking up, but change is easier to talk about than accomplish. When Mother Nature wants modification to the status quo she lets the chips fall where they may. When man alters things, he too often seeks a consensus of major players: titans of industry, bankers, ranking politicians, and the wealthy. They all want to be in the room together.

Guys like me are generally on the outside looking in, supplying at cost the pure basic commodities big business adulterates for profit.

National animal identification

That brings us to the National Animal Identification System.

The NAIS would require each farm animal to be tagged with a computer chip. Grassroots producers fought against mandatory animal ID throughout most of the Bush years. When President Obama was elected. there was celebration by farm groups because we thought NAIS was finally dead. Or was it?

Producers realized that NAIS ignored the real issues of food safety by putting small family farms at a disadvantage with big agribusiness. Under the NAIS proposal, a farmer with 50 cows and calves on pasture would have to tag all 100 animals.

But a feeder packer with a dozen 10,000 hog confinement buildings only had to report 12 numbers, one for each building. All that information was to be stored in a privately-operated database outside USDA with only “insiders” having access to the records.

NAIS never made sense. Virtually all food safety and pollution problems stem from imperfect processing and imported animals and food products (such as beef scraps from Uruguay), but the government was in effect saying small producers were mostly to blame. After all, NAIS was holding us to higher standards than the real food safety offenders. Animal ID was a way for corporations to shift the blame for their mistakes to farmers who had no control over what happened once their animals left the farm.

Producers geared up to fight NAIS the best they could by attending USDA listening sessions to testify against animal ID. Even when the testimony was overwhelmingly against NAIS, the USDA continued to move ahead with plans for implementation until some in Congress, like Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, were successful in cutting funding to the program.

Tester is a farmer, rancher and livestock owner who is also a U.S. Senator.

If money is the source of all evil, we definitely pulled NAIS up by the roots, persuading the House of Representatives to eliminate funds and the Senate to at least radically curtail them.

Or so we thought. Today, even with funding cut, government and corporate insiders are still talking about NAIS, waiting for their chance to bring it back to life.

I’ve heard that as our nation grows, we must all be willing to give up some of our rights for the good of all. I would agree that’s true when it comes to traffic lights or airport screening.

But food?

Big seed

These days it’s not too unusual for seed companies to sue each other. Lately a single seed company has gotten big enough to control 98 percent of the soybean seed market and 79 percent of corn.

The last time a single entity controlled that much seed was when Adam walked alone in the Garden.

That company, Monsanto, says it needs single-handed control and big profits to enable farmers to feed the hungry. Some farmers reply that all we really need to do our job is freedom of choice to buy seed without fear of economic retribution.

In a rare and uncommon turn of events, the Department of Justice has decided to investigate whether Monsanto’s unusual control of seed markets violates federal antitrust laws.

The last time the U.S. cracked down on this much corporate power was when Teddy Roosevelt played trustbuster 100 years back. That was many moons ago.

It used to be that rulemaking took place in the light of day.

For Americans, sightless regulators blinded by power have been a big problem in agriculture, banking, Wall Street, the futures markets, healthcare, energy… you name it.

But once in awhile, like now, if the problem is big enough, a little light from a Blue Moon is what is needed to start setting things right.

Richard Oswald farms and writes from his home near Langdon, Mo. His column regularly appears at www.dailyyonder.com. Reprinted with permission.

The North Platte Bulletin – Published 1/31/2010
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By Lee Pitts

Darol Dickinson NAIS Activist

Darol Dickinson

NAIS, the national animal identification system, is a big government boondoggle that can easily be compared to President Obama’s plan to borrow trillions of dollars, much of it from the Chinese, to save a bad economy that was created in the first place by too much borrowing. NAIS will NOT make our food safer, but it will most certainly make thousands of small stockmen disappear. It will require ranchers to spend a great deal of money on equipment, inserting the chips, and reporting any changes, with terrible fines for computer errors, acts of nature, or noncompliance. Yet factory farms are exempt from those same rules.

The USDA is pushing it partly to show they are doing something about the pitiful state of food safety, which they have botched BIG TIME. The original NAIS plan caused such a backlash that in November 2006 the USDA backtracked and said, “We must emphasize that NAIS is a voluntary program at the Federal level, and USDA has no plans to make participation in any component of the program mandatory.”

Just as you’d expect, now the USDA is most definitely making noises that the plan must be made mandatory.

If the NAIS gravy train is derailed, most of the credit can be given to one man: Darol Dickinson. The famous Longhorn breeder and artist has already been named a member of the Digest 25, but his efforts on NAIS on behalf of all cattlemen deserve another laudatory trajectory launched in his honor.

Darol remembers when he came to hate the whole idea behind NAIS. “When I attended my first USDA listening session about NAIS the leader lied to everyone. He said NAIS would happen, we would not have a choice, sign up now.” (Needless to say, Darol did not sign up.)

“He said that hoof and mouth would devastate the US cattle business overnight, then with one phone call to Texas A & M, at Uvalde, Texas, I found cattle with Hoof and Mouth were still good to eat and the disease was only a skin thing. He told me Anthrax could sweep the nation and could kill every cow. I made one phone call and found out for 80 cents anyone can buy an Anthrax vaccine and never have an Anthrax problem.”

Darol recalls, “Then the USDA began to give out ‘cooperative agreements’ to hire people to enroll in NAIS premises. I call these agreements more simply, ‘bribes.’ Bribes is what you give someone to do something they don’t want to do, then they do it, against their better judgment. The basis of NAIS was deception without necessity—paid for by all taxpayers. All of the above made my blood boil.” Darol began to paw in the dirt like a mad bull.

“For the first time in my life I had an opportunity to oppose a vicious federales program that would put my fellow livestock producers under with red tape, enforcements, fines and destroy new business. I, by choosing this battle with USDA could save billions in losses to ranchers and honest farmers. At a cost of my own cattle sales over the last 4 years, I have worked 4 to 18 hours a day opposing NAIS.

Darol is one of the leading, if not THE leading Longhorn breeder in the country, and has been for decades. His efforts on NAIS have horribly reduced his business sales and profits. “Had we not sold an occasional high dollar Texas Longhorn bull,” says Darol, “it would not have been possible to fight this nasty war.”

He continues, “From early 2005, after the first smoke was blown up my hub cap from USDA, I have carefully researched NAIS. One after another promises from USDA promoters are either false, worthless or just plain ignorant. The concept of NAIS is designed by white shirted, clean handed veterinarians in marble hall offices with high salaries and retirements that would impress Oprah. The NAIS designers have not stepped in enough nasty corral stuff to know the basic business of livestock.

“The next mystery is why AQHA, NCBA, Farm Bureau, Beef Magazine and Drover Magazine do not stage a hissy-fit opposing NAIS and what it will do to their membership and subscribers. When I can’t understand common sense things, I assume they have been bought, and it is true. The slimy USDA bureaucrats with thick brief cases have made their rounds and millions have been bought to their own guilt and shame.”

Darol’s first attempt at a web sight opposing NAIS was web site www.naisSucks.com. “The name was chosen due to the puking nasty program it is,” says Darol, who, it can be said, is not what you’d call a politically correct person.

“I am not a fair and balanced person,” says Darol. Some publications refused to reference www.naisSUCKS.com due to the off color connotation so Darol changed the name to accommodate kinder, gentler people. “We changed it to www.naisSTINKS.com and retained the same articles.” Either way, when you read a SUCKS or STINKS article it will not leave you straddling a fence by a writer who couldn’t figure it out.

Says Darol, “One of the great early research articles published, as the negative NAIS data begin to boil over the cow piles, was Back Door Bureaucrats [by this writer]. The USDA has such strong advertising ties with most livestock publications that the editor’s bladders get weak when it comes to printing an opposition NAIS article. Not Lee Pitts. He lets it fly like a Johne’s herd sire. His article, available on ‘Stinks,’ is a classic.

“Each time USDA presented NAIS for some quasi-noble reason, a selling USDA article was written for release to all the media—livestock, rodeo, general news, farming, etc. One of 42 STINKS research writers quickly presented the factual opposition in clear detail. The USDA articles were printed without a blink by every back woods and up town publication. The opposition articles were printed in one of 20 of the same publications.

“STINKS sends out daily NAIS opposition articles to over 2,000 bloggers. Two livestock editors in New Mexico informed STINKS not to send NAIS opposition articles to them. The NCBA, Beef Magazine and many others, once considered honest, also refuse to receive opposition NAIS articles. All of these brilliant articles by careful researchers are on www.naisSTINKS.com.

“STINKS is dedicated to complete information opposing NAIS,” says Darol. “The NAIS founders and promoters would destroy the livestock industry, so why should those of us making a living with livestock treat them with any more respect than fecal material in a wedding punch bowl?

“STINKS has 147 reprintable NAIS opposition articles to date. As a complete service government defense site there are cartoons, printable handouts, flyers, videos and a companion blog. During the recent USDA listening sessions reprints from STINKS were handed out at all locations and STINKS research info was quoted. When the USDA prepared a $430,000 NAIS TOOL KIT for all licensed veterinarians, STINKS immediately offered a zero funded NAIS SURVIVAL TOOL KIT. It prints from the site in book form, with index and 15 articles to inform and protect ranchers from government terrorists. When a manuscript is released by a STINKS researcher it goes immediately to 2,100 media and bloggers. It is then forwarded on to more than two million viewers within 24 hours. Every state veterinarian, state NAIS director and most Senators and Congress members receive it.

“Although STINKS researchers are prepared to document and defend every article, most livestock editors do not print opposition information, nor do they respond with any questions about data,” says Darol. “When the first STINKS emails were generated, there were only a few sites with NAIS opposition. Now 4 years later there are organizations in every state, hundreds of sites with featured NAIS opposition information, Yahoo groups in every state, attorneys that have resigned their jobs to oppose NAIS full time, ranchers who have been forced to become activists, and writers to defend the family businesses. Google records today 377,000 articles for “NAIS opposition.”

The next step for Darol’s web site is to look into what should be viewed as bribery, plain and simple.

“Bureaucrats have received generous ‘gifts’ from industry businesses that plan to profit from a mandatory NAIS,” according to Darol. “In the future, the humble livestock producers will hammer bureaucrats that have had NO oversight, and sucked the pot dry with their blood thirst, draining the livestock industry. Unless Washington can grab themselves by the pants and listen to the 95% of livestock producers who oppose NAIS, there will be pitch forks and cow manure in their town. Cowboys are tired of human burdizzos, gutless editors, and ruthless enforcements planned for the innocent.”

Darol Dickinson has had a remarkable career in the livestock industry. Stopping NAIS would be the crowning achievement, and every rancher in America will owe him one huge THANK YOU.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Food Control is People Control

http://www.ruralheritage.com/stop_nais/readers05.htm

Stop National Animal ID
by Grant Hagan

When the Communists took over the Ukraine, the bread basket of Europe,
about 70 years ago, they destroyed or stole all food and animals, starving to death 7 million people. Today Zimbabwe, the bread basket of Africa, has had its farms destroyed and is on the verge of starvation. Is our country next?

Today Communism has become less visible. However, groups with the same
globalist views are nearing completion of their goals. Groups like the socialist Council of Foreign Relations [founded in New York in 1921 with the goal of ending American sovereignty, the membership of which has included several past presidents including Bill Clinton], the Trilateralists [a related group founded in 1973 for the purpose of seizing control of the United States government and consolidating its political, monetary, intellectual, and ecclesiastical powers], Skull and Bones [a highly secret Yale University society whose select members have included some of the most powerful men of the 20th century, including President
George Bush] are having great success creating a world dictatorship. Most of their power has been acquired from purchased government officials.
Congress has, for example, depleted our industrial base by giving the unelected elitists at the United Nations World Trade Organization complete control of our trade decisions.

The coming National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is another prime example of this legislative road to enslavement [Assault on Small Farmers]. When in full force NAIS will assign all animals a land base (farm) and each animal will have a radio frequency identification tag. Every time a cow is sent off its land base to a sale, or a horse is ridden off its land base, government permission will be required. The global positioning in the tag will give Big Brother the ability to spy on you. I’m sure Stalin and Hitler would have been envious of such a system.

Like gun control, food control is people control. In addition to animal control, the elitists, with their patented genetically manipulated seeds, are becoming our
only source of seeds. So, contrary to “It can’t happen here,” It is happening
here!

Grant Hagan lives in St. Marys, Pennsylvania. His letter appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of Rural Heritage.

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other articles on food control
http://www.answers.com/topic/food-as-a-weapon-of-war
http://www.hoover.org/publications/digest/6731711.html
http://www.schillerinstitute.org/food_for_peace/kiss_nssm_jb_1995.html
http://2012truth.com/2009/09/07/the-looming-food-crisis/

Washington, D.C. — In a hand-delivered letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, sixteen groups called the agency’s practice of using inadequate international standards and the OTM Rule to leverage global export markets into conformity with weaker disease standards “deplorable.” The OTM Rule was implemented in 2007 and authorizes the importation into the U.S. of older Canadian cattle that have a higher-risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

The groups state they disagree with the “uncritical deference” that Vilsack has accorded the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), which recently designated both the U.S. and Canada as ‘controlled risk’ countries for BSE. According to a letter R-CALF USA received from Vilsack , the agency believes the OIE’s designation provides assurance that measures are in place in both countries to manage ‘any possible risk of BSE in the cattle population,’ and that cattle and beef can be ‘safely traded by both nations.’

But the groups state that USDA is wrong to rely on the weaker OIE standards and that Vilsack’s stated position is inconsistent with Congress’ mandate “to protect animal health and the health and welfare of the people of the United States by preventing the introduction into or spread within the United States of BSE.” The groups urged Vilsack to carry out his congressional mandate by rescinding the OTM Rule.

The groups state also that Vilsack’s position is directly contradicted by his agency’s own risk assessment model that predicts that under the OTM Rule, the U.S. “will introduce 19 BSE-infected cattle from Canada over the course of 20 years,” and two U.S. cattle would become infected. In addition, the groups state that USDA “estimates the cost to U.S. cattle producers, for the privilege of begin exposed to a heightened risk for BSE from Canadian cattle and beef, would be over $66 million per year (or approx. $1.3 million each week), for which no c! ompensation can be obtained from anyone.”

The letter states that the OTM Rule is a human and animal health issue. “Clearly, the OTM Rule is increasing the risk of introducing BSE into the U.S. from Canada, increasing the risk of infection of BSE in both U.S. cattle and in humans, and causing tens of millions of dollars in financial losses for U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers.”

Along with R-CALF USA, the following 15 organizations joined the letter to urge Vilsack to immediately rescind the OTM Rule: Buckeye Quality Beef Association (OH), Cattle Producers of Washington, Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association, Independent Beef Association of North Dakota, Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska, Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming, Kansas Cattlemen’s Association, Kansas Farmers Union, Missouri Farmers Union, National Farmers Organization, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nevada Live Stock Association, Oregon Livestock Producers Association, Ozarks Property Rights Congress (MO), and the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

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