URGENT: Your Food Supply is in Danger!February 20th, 2009
If you value your health and your freedom to choose unpolluted food, then your help is needed. The USDA is trying to mandate a program that will be so costly and bureaucratic for small farmers that it will likely drive them out of business.
Small farmers are the most significant source of high quality organic food. If you don’t understand why their longevity so important, I suggest you read my articles about toxic meat and why to buy organic.
NAIS – The National Animal Identification System
NAIS is an animal identification system that the USDA has been trying to mandate for about 5 years. According to the USDA, the program is intended to improve food safety, but in reality, it’s more likely to worsen it.
Under this program, anyone owning livestock would be required to register their property, tag each animal with a computerized chip, and report the activity of each animal to the USDA. This even applies to some pet owners. For example, someone owning just a single horse would have to register their property and report to the government each time the horse was taken off the property.
While this program could potentially be useful for the regulation of large factory farms, it’s far too extreme for small farmers and can even be considered unconstitutional. Adding insult to injury, farmers would be required to buy the equipment needed to follow the program. If the hassle doesn’t push small farmers out of business, then the expense will!
Food Safety – What a Joke!
As I said, this program is intended to improve food safety. With a mandatory “48 hour traceback”, the USDA argues that they’ll be better able to manage the spread of disease outbreak, but wouldn’t it make a lot more sense for a food safety program to prevent disease rather than just manage it?
Because small farmers tend to follow natural and organic farming practices, they raise healthy animals that rarely get sick. This is in direct contrast to the factory farms where sickness is common and antibiotics are used as a preventative measure. While the practices of small farmers represent what food safety should be about, the NAIS program would make life more difficult for these small farmers than anyone else.
Furthermore, if the USDA is serious about food safety, perhaps they should revisit their own inspection process. In 2007, over 22 million pounds of ground beef were recalled despite every package of it being inspected by the USDA!
Is it About Safety or Politics?
Possibly the scariest aspect of NAIS is the potential control that it gives the government. Based on the political influence of agricultural companies like Monsanto, this control can easily lead to small farmers being forced to implement the highly toxic and destructive practices that these companies promote and profit from. With this in mind, do you really want the government deciding how your food is produced?
If you’ve never heard of Monsanto, I highly recommend that you visit Millions Against Monsanto and educate yourself about this dangerous company and the strong political influence they have.
Finally, consider who benefits most from NAIS. Technology companies will certainly benefit from the tags and computer systems that the program requires. More importantly, agricultural companies like Monsanto will benefit by their products being a part of the “best practices” imposed on farmers to control disease outbreak. In contrast, the small farmer gets nothing but grief and we lose the ability to choose where our food comes from. In my opinion, this sounds a lot more like corporate cronyism than a food safety program!
If you have any regard for your right to choose where your food comes from, please take action by opposing NAIS! The following website makes it very easy to send a letter to the USDA stating your opposition.
Unfortunately, speaking out against NAIS may not be enough. New legislation has been proposed in Congress that will combine the USDA and FDA into a single “Food Safety Administration”, but also create a backdoor for the USDA to mandate the NAIS program. You can voice your opinion against this legislation as well through the following website.
For more information on NAIS and this proposed legislation, visit:
The Death of Organic: UndergroundWellness.com audio interview with Linn Cohen-Cole
Why NAIS Must be Stopped: Video presentation about NAIS by the Environmental Conservation Organization
Monsanto and the Schoolmarm Method of Punishing Farmers An article by Linn Cohen-Cole describing the political connections of Monsanto in regards to this legislation.