Archive for category Food

Even the Amish people and farms are impacted by our Orwellian government

Originally Published on March 11th, 2008

Libertarians just want to be left alone to do their own thing. The Amish just want to be left alone to do likewise. Our government was initially designed so we could all be left alone and just do our own thing. Now what we have is government by the elite which is not about to leave us alone to do our own thing. Control is the operant word.

From nolanchart.com by Jake Morphonios entitled “Ron Paul’s Meeting with Rogue Farmers“:

AmishI spent Saturday morning at the local farmer’s market talking with some folks from our Amish community. One particular Amish farm family provides my family with homemade butter, cheese and milk. It is against the law in most states for a farmer to sell farm-fresh raw milk items without first having met extensive FDA guidelines. Because of the tyranny of Big Brother, we are compelled to never refer to these items by name. To protect ourselves from potential fines or incarceration for the dastardly act of selling and buying non-FDA approved milk, we make sure to speak in hushed whispers and use code words for the “product”. My Amish friends make sure to deliver the product to me in large mason jars with the words “FOR PET USE ONLY” written on top. Rather than giving my payment directly to them, I put my cash in an unguarded cigar box. The whole scene plays out like an illegal drug deal on a shadowy street corner. Welcome to America.

After our last nefarious exchange on Saturday morning, we began discussing the government’s invasive, Orwellian attacks on family farmers and how honest citizens have been made to fear the brutality of the empire. We talked about the new laws requiring farmers to digitally tag all livestock and report any transport of their animals off their farms to the federal government. We discussed RFID chips and the future of the government implanting tracking devices in humans.

As we talked about the truth of global schemes, the Federal Reserve and Alex Jones type “conspiracy theories”, I looked at my Amish friends in wonderment. They had no running water or electricity in their homes, they dressed in the most simple, unembellished garb that could be assembled, they eschewed the ways of the modern world and sought to remain separate and apart from it – yet here they stood, expressing deep regret that the federal government had found its way into the heart of their community and was tearing it apart.

To my surprise, my long-bearded friend pulled out some photos that had been given to him earlier in the week. He and his family (which includes his wife and ten children), along with other concerned family farmers, had been to Washington DC and cooked lunch for Ron Paul with their “illegal” food products (a shining example of civil disobedience) and shared their concerns about the invasion of the federal government into their lives. The pictures were beautiful: Ron Paul standing with my friend and members of his family.

Seeing the extent to which the most honest, innocent and harmless members of our society were being driven to plead for government to leave them alone, I felt ashamed – ashamed of my government and ashamed of myself for not having done more to protect the erosion of American liberty.

Now, more than ever, the Ron Paul Revolution must roll forward in force. It doesn’t matter if Ron Paul can win the White House or not. What does matter is that we don’t give up the fight against tyranny. The global elite have manipulated our lives for a century. Their schemes to destroy our currency, eliminate civil liberties, enslave us and our children, and spill our blood in the process are all clear and present dangers which must be resisted to our last ounce of strength. We must resist, or we must inevitably perish.

For my Amish friends, for my family, and for my country I commit myself to the noble cause of freedom. Now is not the time to vacillate or shrink from duty. Now is the time to rise and fight.

To Red Pills home page.
The image used in this post was obtained from HERE and is basically unaltered. This article, excluding the material cited or the material which is included herein but written by other authors or material covered by other copyrights, is copyright © 2008, by Gary Shumway. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute it electronically and in print, other than as part of a book and provided that mention of the author’s web site www.redpills.org is included. (Email notification is requested.) All other rights reserved.
Gary Shumway is the author of Winging Through America and SCUBA Scoop.

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USDA lets more tainted meat get by

So, I have to wonder where is USDA in this story? Aren’t they on site inspecting this meat? Where are they? How many of their inspectors have been fired over this? How many Supervisors have been sent to Fairbanks Alaska for the Reindeer inspection program? Probably none! I see USDA as a major source of this problem.
-Kidron


Jolley: Agonizing Over Another Too Large & Unnecessary Recall

01/19/2010 08:49AM

On Monday, Ann Bagel Stork, an editor with Meatingplace.com, reported that Huntington Meat Packing Inc, recalled approximately 864,000 pounds of beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service discovered the problem “while conducting a Food Safety Assessment, which ultimately prompted a further investigation of establishment records. The investigation is ongoing.”

The following products, consisting of all ground beef products produced by the plant from Jan. 5, 2010, to Jan. 15, 2010, are subject to recall:

• 40-pound boxes of “Huntington Meats Ground Beef”
• 40-pound boxes of “HUNTINGTON MEAT PKG. INC. BEEF GROUND FOR FURTHER PROCESSING”
• 40-pound boxes of “BEEF BURRITO FILLING MIX”
• 10-pound boxes of “IMPERIAL MEAT CO. GROUND BEEF PATTY”
• 20-pound boxes of “IMPERIAL MEAT CO. GROUND BEEF PATTY”
• 10-pound boxes of “El Rancho MEAT & PROVISION ALL BEEF PATTIES”

While it was distressing that the first recall of the New Year only took a few days to happen, there are several other non-reported issues that should strike the industry with the same impact as a 340 pound tackle hitting a 220 pound quarterback. Or a two ton wrecking ball smacking the side of a 100 year old building. Or listening to your dentist saying, “This is going to hurt a little bit.”

Issue #1: Why did it take an FSIS Food Safety Assessment to find the problem? Where were Huntington’s people? Do they need to bring in outside resources? Is every company in the U.S. that does grinding prepared for an immediate FSA?

Issue #2: Assuming no weekend work, they recalled nine days worth of product. Whatever happened to batch production? Doing it right should mean a day’s worth pulled out of commerce, maximum.

Issue #3: Test and hold (or as Ann Wells, Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs at the North American Meat Processors Association, corrected me months ago: “hold and test”) all of a sudden sounds like cheap business insurance.

The answer to Issue #1 is an FSA will find the weak link in your business. If you’re not ready for it right now, get the help you need. Right now.

The answer to Issue #2 is the same as the answer to Issue #3. Batch production/hold and test. Think holding and testing a day’s worth of production is too expensive? Huntington called back at least nine day’s worth of production instead of a single day. If you’re still a doubter, let’s go back to August 21, 1997 when the granddaddy of all recalls happened:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The nation’s largest beef recall got a whole lot larger Thursday, as Hudson Foods moved to take 25 million pounds of ground beef off the market at the behest of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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.

http://www.cattletradercenter.com/Jolley–Agonizing-Over-Another-Too-Large—Unnecessary-Recall/2010-01-19/Article.aspx?oid=976561&fid=CTC-TOP-STORIES-2009-08-20-11-55-54&hq_e=el&hq_m=595349&hq_l=2&hq_v=3b22d15db6

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Nixon’s steak found in central Russia

Published 12 January, 2010, 20:28

A major meat smuggling scam from America has been smashed in central Russia.

Police stopped a large trailer carrying 22 tonnes of contraband produce – some believed to have been frozen for up to 35 years – meat that technically could have been served to US President Richard Nixon.

Read more

The food, which came from the US, South America, Canada and Belgium, was delivered via Ukraine.

According to officials, the criminal gang delivered the meat to Moscow where it was sold using forged documents.

Two members of the group have been detained and, if found guilty, could face 12 years in prison.

http://rt.com/Top_News/2010-01-12/meat-smuggling-central-russia.html

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Food Control is People Control

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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E-Mail: info@ruralheritage.com

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/

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Organic Amish Farming



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The Fight for America’s Farms in Wisconsin: Marti Oakley Reports

The Fight for America’s Farms in Wisconsin: Marti Oakley Reports

“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all’.” (Martin Luther King – Letter from Birmingham Prison, Alabama)

Wisconsin’s “war” against agriculture — is it the blueprint for a NAIS nation?

It looks like the war of the elites against American agriculture is starting in Wisconsin. Marti Oakley, of The PPJ Gazette, reports from the front lines:

That M on the police might as well stand for Mars -- ya gotta wonder if aliens are behind this undermining of human life support systems -- also known as.... farms.

That M on the cops might as well stand for Mars — you really have to wonder if aliens are behind this undermining of human life support systems — also known as…. farms. I mean what group of human beings in their right mind would do this to themselves? Great pic from Deesillustrations.com

The first thing they did when they got the authority to write rules… was to grant themselves the authority to conduct warrantless searches. Wisconsin is in the process of coercing farmers and backyard producers … into NAIS, and the accompanying Premises ID program, by threatening to withhold any of the licenses they control.” Paul Griepentrog

In the course of researching various topics, running down leads on information and ferreting out the plans behind the public propaganda used to infringe on one right after another, I sometimes stumble across someone who has so much verifiable information, I am left astounded. This was the case when I happened across a gentleman farmer named Paul Griepentrog while researching the laws and bills about Premises ID and the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

I already knew the mandatory law had been bought and paid for in Wisconsin through the use of a USDA “cooperative agreement” to the tune of $35 million.

In a recent interview I asked Paul to answer a few questions about what is really happening to Wisconsin residents who are being forced onto these illegal programs:

Q: Does the Animal Health Protection Act of 2003 actually authorize the Animal Identification System or Premises ID?

Will future history books tell the truth of what went down in America in the first decade of the 21st century?

Will future history books tell the truth of what went down in America in the first decade of the 21st century?

A:There is nothing in that bill giving them authority to create or establish the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). That law has been misquoted saying that it is the authority for NAIS. We have repeatedly sent letters to USDA and Tom Vilsack asking him to show the section of that law that gives the authority but he refuses to answer or acknowledge the letters.

Q: Has the USDA, in collusion with the Wisconsin AG department, threatened any farms that you know of?

A: Dwayne Brander on behalf of Dr. McGraw, Assistant State Veterinarian, goes out to farms telling them that if they don’t renew or register their premises in the State of Wisconsin they will file suit against them for failing to comply, using the county DA and calling it a civil forfeiture.

Wisconsin is in the process of coercing farmers and backyard producers in an effort to force them onto NAIS and the accompanying Premises ID program by threatening to withhold any of the licenses they control and would refuse to give the license unless you signed up.

Q: Is there a part of the law in Wisconsin that allows for fines and imprisonment based on the sole allegations of these agencies or representative personnel from USDA or DATCP in Wisconsin?

A: Here is section 95 from the Wisconsin bill implementing the “voluntary” NAIS/Premises ID law:

CHAPTER 95

ANIMAL HEALTH

95.23 Disease investigation and enforcement.

95.23(1)

(1) Authorized inspectors and agents of the department may enter at reasonable times any premises, building or place to investigate the existence of animal diseases or to investigate violations of or otherwise enforce the laws relating to animal health. Any animals or materials suspected of being infected may be examined or tested. No person shall obstruct or interfere with such investigation or enforcement work, or attempt to do so, in any manner, by threat or otherwise.

95.23(2)

(2) Upon request of an authorized inspector or agent of the department,sheriffs and police officers shall assist in the enforcement of the laws relating to animal health.

95.99 Penalties.

95.99(1)

(1) Any person who violates this chapter, or an order issued or a rule adopted under this chapter, for which a specific penalty is not prescribed shall, for the first offense, be fined not more than $1,000; and for any subsequent offense fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than 6 months or both.

95.99(2)

(2) The department may seek an injunction restraining any person from violating this chapter or any rule promulgated under this chapter.

95.99(3)

(3) A person who violates this chapter or any rule promulgated or order issued under this chapter, for which a specific penalty is not prescribed,may be required to forfeit not less than $200 nor more than $5,000 for the first offense and may be required to forfeit not less than $400 nor more than $5,000 for the 2nd or subsequent offense committed within 5 years of an offense for which a penalty has been assessed under this section. A forfeiture under this subsection is in lieu of a criminal penalty undersub.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Q: Do citizens have the right to demand a full disclosure of the exact laws and basis under which USDA and Wisconsin have charged them? Is there any defense against these attacks?

A:There seems to be none. In the cooperative agreement it states all applicable federal laws shall apply. There are certain major State and Federal Constitutional issues that these laws are in conflict with.

Q: Who exactly is asking for this information?

A: The Department of Agriculture, State of Wisconsin administered by Assistant State Veterinarian, Dr. Paul McGraw; both knowing this has nothing to do with livestock or food safety. This comes from The World Trade Organization and their trade program OIE. http://www.oie.int/eng/en_index.htm World Organization Animal Health.

Q: Where is the information stored? For what purpose?

Are rich folk buying up stock in tag making companies

Are rich folk buying up stock in tag making companies

A: Initially intake is at state level, and then it moves through forms records management plan. There are different steps on how they process this information. From everything I read, a disease outbreak would give state, federal and international interest’s access.

Q: Who is storing the information?

A:Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and then to Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium with (WLIC) as final repository in Canada. The WLIC is comprised of various agriculture groups, breed associations and companies selling RFID tags.

Rep. Obey & Sen. Kohl helped to get WLIC started and moved the data base to Canada. The head of WLIC initially was Gary Tauchen who is now a Wisconsin representative and sitting on the house AG committee.

In my own case, I have been registered twice after the fire number on my property changed. Once under the original number and my name and again under the newly assigned number and my farm name; I did not register for Premises ID on either occasion and was signed up without my knowledge or consent.

Q: If the WLIC is listed as the last repository of data mined information, how did files on Wisconsin agricultural properties end up being stored in Canada?

A:WLIC with the help of Rep. Obey and Sen. Kohl although I don’t know for sure how this was accomplished. The intention was to avoid any Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request or open information requests until they passed the 2008 Farm Bill and included a provision in that bill saying that these files would not be available to FOIA requests.

Q. Who had access to these files when they were outside the country?

A: We don’t know. Once it was outside US jurisdiction we had no way of knowing.

Q: Are you able to get copies of your personal file from the Canadian data bank?

A: I was able to obtain the premises information pursuant to the forms records management plan. To my knowledge I am only the second person to do so.

Q: We know these programs have nothing to do with tracking animal disease and are actually meant to end competition for industrialized agricultural interests, and to seize control of agricultural lands and livestock….who are the actual players that will benefit from these programs?

A:The big corporate industrialized agriculture operators….Cargill, Tyson, Monsanto and others, because they would see the end to competition and obtain virtually full control over all agriculture.

Q: Are Wisconsin politicians either state or federal willing to speak to you about NAIS, Premises ID or the fake food safety bills?

A:On the Federal level, Sen. Kohl and Rep. Obey will not take my calls.

(*Writer’s note: I made my own calls to these offices and when I stated what I was calling in reference to, the staffers got really nasty and then hung up)

In fact Sen. Kohl’s staffer, Kim Cates’ husband is on the Agriculture Consumer Protection Citizen board. He would not even meet with John Kinsman of Family Farm Defenders to discuss the issue.

On the state level are the continuous lies. These people will say Premises ID has nothing to do with NAIS. They say this even though they have been shown the cooperative agreement between USDA and Wisconsin DATCP outlining Premises ID as the first step. They refuse to look at or acknowledge the legal documents.

DATCP had a document on the Wisconsin Legislative information Bureau site saying that the Amish don’t have any problem with this. If the Amish don’t have a problem with it why are they suing Emmanuel Miller Jr., an Amish from Clark County?

Steve Kagen would not address our concerns and he’s on the US house Ag sub- committee that held a hearing on NAIS and is also involved in the food safety bills and won’t address our concerns even there. He is working right now to get funding to move Wisconsin into phase II of NAIS which is the mandatory chipping and tagging of all animals.

I will say that Sen. Feingold has been willing to listen to our concerns both in his Washington office and in the state office.

Although there is a bill in Wisconsin which would restore voluntary participation I feel it is nothing more than an attempt at political redemption by the same people who passed the mandatory bill to begin with, in that they are fully aware that this bills will be sent to the House Ag committee and never see the light of day. This is merely political posturing…. The house, senate and government are all controlled by Democrats. This may be nothing more than a smoke screen while they make mandatory phase II which is the tagging and chipping, which can’t be done unless you have a Premises ID.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Paul Griepentrog shows that, in the end, what was billed and sold to Wisconsin farmers and herders as a strictly “voluntary” system turns out to be a mandatory system operated much like a police state enforcement policy. There can be no doubt, especially in light of the hyped up investigation and enforcement policies that this law in Wisconsin is less about disease and more about property seizure and forfeiture.

Wisconsin is the blueprint for the remaining states: what happens there is going to happen to all independent ranchers, farmers and producers across the country if any of these fake food safety bills, or National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is passed into law.

© 2009 MartiOakley

And next up, an excerpt from “A view of NAIS from Wisconsin”, by Walter Jeffries

“Wisconsion is the first and only state to implement mandatory Premise ID , the first step of the USDA’s proposed National Animal Identification System ( NAIS ). From what I hear it is a mixed bag. On the one hand Dr. Wiemers of the USDA commended Wisconsin for having registered 400% of their horses already. On the other hand I have received personal communications from a number of Wisconsonites who say they have not registered and don’t plan on doing so. Below is a letter from one such Wisconsin livestock owner:

Walter, Premise ID and NAIS have already been passed in Wisconsin, as you probably know. I have seen a lot of farm programs in my 66 years, but this is the most ridiculous one ever presented. I don’t see more ag. disease now than there was 50 years ago. I am not certain it is designed to hurt the small farmers, though it will I see it more as a result of globalization. For [Michael] Johanns , [USDA Secretary of Agriculture] to cease testing cattle for BSE, and commensurately implement a device for tracking this disease, is incongruous. In addition, cattle are still ingesting blood and slaughterhouse waste, in their feed… how stupid is this?

These folks are none too pleased about having NAIS shoved down their throats.

These folks are none too pleased about having NAIS shoved down their throats.

I will not comply as long as I do not receive WRITTEN notice from Madison. And even then I will go down kicking, claiming this is NOT constitutional. The farmer who rents my land has not registered his premises either, and he raises beef. I do not know anyone who has registered, but then I only know 3 farmers, because the encroaching development has taken over all the farmland in my area. The farmer closest to me raises both organically fed beef and bison…he does not object to NAIS. I suspect he is registered due to selling bison meat to restaurants. I don’t know how the third one feels…. I have not seen him for so long.

The members of Wisconsin Against NAIS are still fighting this legislation, with a vengeance. Some talk about Big Brother , some feel the next step is tracking US citizens, some believe the factory farmers want the “little guy” out of business, some have major concerns NAIS is an invasion of privacy, others find it frightening, others worry about the cost. They have discussed organizing a protest at Madison, our capitol. I have written to my congressman and both US senators. All three are pro-NAIS. (sigh) I don’t think our state senators will revoke their decision to pass NAIS. They seem to feel WI is a leading example….. Hah! This state is usually the last on the list for accepting any new innovation….”

Read the whole story here.

Read Walter Jeffries’ blog here.

Pictures added by the Bovine from internet sources.

And finally, an upbeat postscript: HR 2749 Killed (for now) on Floor of U.S. Congress – An excerpt:

“John Dingell came up six or seven votes short today, and failed to get food safety reform legislation passed through Congress.

Dingell, the once powerful Michigan Democrat who lost his chairmanship of the Energy & Commerce Committee before the start of the 111th Congress, fell just short of getting the necessary two-thirds majority vote to suspend the rules and adopt H.R. 2749 as amended.

The House voted 280 in favor and 150 against suspending the rules and passing H.R. 2749. Twenty-three Democrats voted with 127 Republicans to deny Dingell the two-thirds majority vote required under the rules. Fifty Republicans voted for the bill that Dingell had carefully crafted with help with Texas GOP Rep. Joe Barton.

While the proponents of the food safety legislation dominated the floor debate that stretched into a second hour, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R- Ohio, compared the late number of rewrites of the food safety legislation filed with the House Clerk as repeating the bad behavior on the part of the Majority that was used to get the stimulus bill passed. “Did anyone read this bill?” Boehner asked….”

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FDA, FSIS TALK TRACEABILITY ~~ government agencies

from FOOD SAFETY NEWS DISCUSSION

by John Munsell ~~ 12-30-09


After implementing policies for many years which complicate, if not make impossible, tracebacks to the source, USDA/FSIS seems to indicate it is willing to consider a midstream change in its attitudes, and policies, regarding Tracebacks to the TRUE ORIGIN of contamination.The December 9 issue of Dow Jones also refers to the upcoming January USDA hearing, but no specific date has been set. One of many concerns I have is that the agency may well attempt to produce yet another prosaic Notice/Directive/Policy which multiplies words, but accomplishes nothing, the primary objective being to disingenuously and piously portray USDA as America’s ultimate public health agency. The agency’s historical refusal to traceback to the origin is readily understood.

First of all, it is pertinent to note that E.coli and Salmonella are “Enteric” bacteria, which by definition means that they emanate from within animals’ intestines, and by extension proliferate on manure-covered hides. Retail meat markets (insert Lunds/Byerlys et al), restaurants (insert Sizzlers and dozens others here), and the majority of meat processing plants (review this century’s recalls) do NOT slaughter, thus do not have animal intestines or manure-covered hides on their premises. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the vast majority of E.coli and Salmonella-laced meat is caused by sloppy kill floor dressing procedures. Well, why doesn’t USDA aggressively trace back to the slaughter plant origins? If tracebacks were successfully accomplished which reveal that the contamination ORIGINATED at a slaughter plant, a public backlash would discredit both the agency and the slaughter establishments. Why? Because successful tracebacks would reveal (1) that the big slaughter plants continue to ship tonnages of contaminated meat into commerce, bearing the official USDA Mark of Inspection; and (2) the tracebacks would reveal that the agency is asleep at the wheel at the biggest plants, by official agency design. Why do I state that? Because the current form of meat inspection, which is called Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (or HACCP) deregulated the largest slaughter facilities. Prior to HACCP, the agency promised the industry that under the HACCP protocol, (1) the agency would maintain a “Hands Off” non-involvement role, (2) the agency would no longer police the industry, but the industry would police itself, (3) the agency would disband its previous command & control authority, and (4) each plant would write its own HACCP Plan, and the agency could not tell the industry what must be in their HACCP Plans. True to its word, USDA has fully lived up to its pre-HACCP promises, but only at the deregulated largest plants. In stark contrast, the agency has used HACCP to hyper-regulate the small plants. These differences are begging for a movie or book to expose the agency’s true intentions, which are focused on justifying USDA’s semi-retirement at the biggest plants, while hagriding small plants out of existence.

Today, 88% of feedlot-fattened steers and heifers are killed at the Big 4 packer plants, which enjoy political clout and the economic wherewithal to force USDA into paralysis. The agency lives in fear, knowing that if it attempts truly meaningful enforcement actions at the big packers, the agency will be defending itself in court, and for good reason! Realizing that USDA promised to maintain a “Hands Off” non-involvement role under HACCP, that it would no longer police the industry, and would jettison its previous command-and-control authority, the agency has knowingly painted itself into a corner which prevents it from forcing changes onto non-compliant big plants. USDA fully deserves to lose such litigation, and will, so chooses to avoid litigation. So, to circumvent this delicate problem, the agency has implemented policies (some of which are not written) which prevent tracebacks to the origin.

We should not be surprised when we continually experience these ongoing outbreaks and recurring recalls, because both (1)USDA and (2)litigation have focused its sanctions against the downstream destination facilities (restaurants, retail meat markets, and further processing plants) which have unwittingly purchased meat which was previously contaminated with invisible pathogens. Until USDA is willing to Force the Source, rather than Destroying the Destination, America is virtually guaranteed ongoing outbreaks.

USDA is totally opposed to putting Bill Marler out of business, and in fact is Mr. Marler’s ultimate ally by promoting the rights of the big slaughter plants to continue producing enteric bacteria-laced meat with virtual impunity. Why does USDA appear to have experienced a sudden change in heart regarding Tracebacks? I propose that since successful tracebacks have been accomplished for melamine-laced products, spinach to a mere handful of California farms, as well as tracebacks of lettuce, peppers, peanut butter, etc, USDA’s historical inability to traceback to the slaughter plants of origin has become monumentally conspicuous in comparison. And think of the irony of this historical fact!

Although FDA has inspectors in produce plants only once every few years, the agency has successfully accomplished these tracebacks. USDA on the other hand, has inspectors in every meat plant every day, yet is strangely unable to match FDA’s success in performing tracebacks. Perhaps the Obama administration is to be credited with the USDA’s born-again metamorphosis in its alleged desire to suddenly perform tracebacks to the origin of contamination. I can guarantee everyone one thing: we had best be closely watching every statement USDA makes in its January hearing, because the agency’s past performance in this area proves that USDA fears big packer clout more than it fears public health outbreaks.

John Munsell

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NAIS: Life Support ~~ Dead on Arrival

No sooner have most people pronounced NAIS dead-on-arrival, than a number of recent events may have breathed life back into the U.S.A.’s National Animal Identification Scheme. A combination of market forces aligned with a simplified tracking technology, and some rare positive news may have reinvigorated USDA’s moribund, voluntary animal traceability initiative.

First the news headlines. Even though the U.S. House of Representatives had voted to cut off funding for the NAIS as part of the Farm Bill, a joint House-Senate conference committee agreed a few weeks ago to continue funding the program to the tune of $5.3 million for fiscal year 2010-2011. This funding is a reduction from the $14.2 million authorized for last year and less than the $14.6 million the Senate approved, but the program will continue. However, a growing number of Congressional members have made it clear they want to see effective leadership from USDA to dispel some of the more egregious NAIS rumors running unchallenged in the countryside (e.g., backyard farmers with only a few chickens for home use or sale to friends will have to tag and track each animal). They also want to expand the number of farms and ranches that have registered with the NAIS premises database from the current anemic 13% to closer to the 90% needed for an effective national system.

The second piece of news for NAIS supporters is that U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer in Washington, D.C., dismissed a civil suit filed by the Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and a group of Michigan cattlemen against the USDA and the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) over the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The group’s suit, filed last September, sought to enjoin the implementation and enforcement of NAIS. The suit was dismissed primarily because Judge Collyer ruled the program was voluntarily adopted by state departments of agriculture and was not federally mandated. Should NAIS become mandatory, sorry — the judge has already ruled.

Even with a bit of good news, the large opposition anti-NAIS forces continue to rally their troops by claiming that NAIS is overly burdensome, and is unnecessary because existing livestock records, such as brands, ear tags, veterinary logs and auction barn records do a good and economical job of tracking cattle movements. Dr. George Teagarden, the Kansas state veterinarian, agrees that the current record-keeping system can be used “to find the animals in question, but it can be months after the fact.” According to Dr. Teagarden, this time lag isn’t nearly fast enough and he cautions, “A highly contagious animal disease will devastate this country.” He underscores this dire prediction by noting that in Kansas in a single month cattle from all 48 of the Continental U.S. states arrive at least once a month. The speed of commerce is too fast to be handled by the paper-based system.” Dr. Teagarden is also aware that history does not record any such “devastating” disease to affect Kansas since Foot & Mouth was eliminated in the late twenties. His pandemic prophecy is not a fear to the majority of livestock producers in Kansas or the nation, however those hovering inside the beltway still listen.

Apparently, a number of national governments agree with Dr. Teagarden, and recently several have made or are poised to move their systems from voluntary to mandatory. Within the last few months these key countries have made major moves towards mandatory traceability; moves that are likely to impact USA policy and USA producers.

It is important to understand the difference in other countries. Australia and Canada produce 60% more beef than their country consumes and absolutely must protect and increase export sales. Totally different, the US in 2008, according to the NASS, exported $2,876,906,000 in wholesale beef, but imported $4,764,392,000. For 21 years the US has not produced enough beef to feed the nation. The difference in the urgency to export US beef is drastic. If the US exports more beef, they, in turn must import that exact amount more to feed the nation. In that respect, the US is depending on imports and has no surplus for export at all. All beef export from the US is simply a trading process that does not profit producers, but only those directly related in the selling and buying.

Brazil. Brazil, also producing much more than is being consumed, has just announced that by 2011 all livestock producers will be required to participate in a mandatory traceability system. The new system will rely on simpler technology than the current, voluntary SISBOV system which is RFID-based, and every segment of the Brazilian supply chain, from cow-calf operator to slaughter facility including transporters will be required to provide a complete chain of custody records. Real-time electronic record-keeping is not being mandated, but standardized record-keeping whose data can be transmitted via Internet portals to centralized databases will be used. The SISBOV system will continue to exist for those who want to use it, but the expectation among Brazilian officials is that most producers will use the standardized, simplified paper-based system. On a world export basis, the countries with the most compliance costs will be the least competitive.

Korea. South Korea has instituted a traceback system on domestically raised beef, and has indicated that it would require traceback on imported product by 2010.

Japan. The Japanese government has had a domestic animal identification system in place for several years, and on three different occasions the then-minority political party, the Democratic Party of Japan, had unsuccessfully tried to pass legislation that would require the same level of traceability for imports. In August the DPJ successfully became the controlling party for the first time in a long period, and newly appointed Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has vowed to once again try to revise the Beef Traceability Law. He doesn’t have control of the Upper House of Parliament, but he may be able to persuade his two coalition partners to go along.

How do these foreign government actions impact the U.S. meat industry? The Brazilian action probably has less direct impact on the US than do the Asian actions, because the Brazilian action was aimed at broadening acceptance of Brazilian beef in the EU. There will be some impact, though, because the largest of the Brazilian meat companies, JBS, is also one of the major U.S. meat producers so there will likely be some technology transfer from Brazilian ranches to their U.S. counterpart.

A major key to Brazilian acceptance of a mandatory livestock traceability system by Brazilian legislators was the simplification of the system of initially registering an animal and then tracking its movements from birth to export. The predecessor voluntary system in Brazil known as SISBOV is an RFID-based identification system with real-time electronic data collection and transmittal. While effective, this system is technologically sophisticated and beyond both the economic means and technological understanding of a large percentage of Brazilian producers. Embracing and actively promoting a simplified registration and tracking system by USDA, we believe, will go a long way towards helping reduce opposition to NAIS.

Even with all of these developments, make no mistake — NAIS is still on life support, and it may still die. But when the marketplace speaks and producers begin to learn the US is and has been a net import country, and no export markets are necessary at all, NAIS becomes even closer to true and lasting death!

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FDA, FSIS TALK TRACEABILITY ~~ government agencies

from FOOD SAFETY NEWS DISCUSSION

by John Munsell ~~ 12-13-09

After implementing policies for many years which complicate, if not make impossible, tracebacks to the source, USDA/FSIS seems to indicate it is willing to consider a midstream change in its attitudes, and policies, regarding Tracebacks to the TRUE ORIGIN of contamination.

The December 9 issue of Dow Jones also refers to the upcoming January USDA hearing, but no specific date has been set. One of many concerns I have is that the agency may well attempt to produce yet another prosaic Notice/Directive/Policy which multiplies words, but accomplishes nothing, the primary objective being to disingenuously and piously portray USDA as America’s ultimate public health agency. The agency’s historical refusal to traceback to the origin is readily understood.

First of all, it is pertinent to note that E.coli and Salmonella are “Enteric” bacteria, which by definition means that they emanate from within animals’ intestines, and by extension proliferate on manure-covered hides. Retail meat markets (insert Lunds/Byerlys et al), restaurants (insert Sizzlers and dozens others here), and the majority of meat processing plants (review this century’s recalls) do NOT slaughter, thus do not have animal intestines or manure-covered hides on their premises. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the vast majority of E.coli and Salmonella-laced meat is caused by sloppy kill floor dressing procedures. Well, why doesn’t USDA aggressively trace back to the slaughter plant origins? If tracebacks were successfully accomplished which reveal that the contamination ORIGINATED at a slaughter plant, a public backlash would discredit both the agency and the slaughter establishments. Why? Because successful tracebacks would reveal (1) that the big slaughter plants continue to ship tonnages of contaminated meat into commerce, bearing the official USDA Mark of Inspection; and (2) the tracebacks would reveal that the agency is asleep at the wheel at the biggest plants, by official agency design. Why do I state that? Because the current form of meat inspection, which is called Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (or HACCP) deregulated the largest slaughter facilities. Prior to HACCP, the agency promised the industry that under the HACCP protocol, (1) the agency would maintain a “Hands Off” non-involvement role, (2) the agency would no longer police the industry, but the industry would police itself, (3) the agency would disband its previous command & control authority, and (4) each plant would write its own HACCP Plan, and the agency could not tell the industry what must be in their HACCP Plans. True to its word, USDA has fully lived up to its pre-HACCP promises, but only at the deregulated largest plants. In stark contrast, the agency has used HACCP to hyper-regulate the small plants. These differences are begging for a movie or book to expose the agency’s true intentions, which are focused on justifying USDA’s semi-retirement at the biggest plants, while hagriding small plants out of existence.

Today, 88% of feedlot-fattened steers and heifers are killed at the Big 4 packer plants, which enjoy political clout and the economic wherewithal to force USDA into paralysis. The agency lives in fear, knowing that if it attempts truly meaningful enforcement actions at the big packers, the agency will be defending itself in court, and for good reason! Realizing that USDA promised to maintain a “Hands Off” non-involvement role under HACCP, that it would no longer police the industry, and would jettison its previous command-and-control authority, the agency has knowingly painted itself into a corner which prevents it from forcing changes onto non-compliant big plants. USDA fully deserves to lose such litigation, and will, so chooses to avoid litigation. So, to circumvent this delicate problem, the agency has implemented policies (some of which are not written) which prevent tracebacks to the origin.

We should not be surprised when we continually experience these ongoing outbreaks and recurring recalls, because both (1)USDA and (2)litigation have focused its sanctions against the downstream destination facilities (restaurants, retail meat markets, and further processing plants) which have unwittingly purchased meat which was previously contaminated with invisible pathogens. Until USDA is willing to Force the Source, rather than Destroying the Destination, America is virtually guaranteed ongoing outbreaks.

USDA is totally opposed to putting Bill Marler out of business, and in fact is Mr. Marler’s ultimate ally by promoting the rights of the big slaughter plants to continue producing enteric bacteria-laced meat with virtual impunity. Why does USDA appear to have experienced a sudden change in heart regarding Tracebacks? I propose that since successful tracebacks have been accomplished for melamine-laced products, spinach to a mere handful of California farms, as well as tracebacks of lettuce, peppers, peanut butter, etc, USDA’s historical inability to traceback to the slaughter plants of origin has become monumentally conspicuous in comparison. And think of the irony of this historical fact!

Although FDA has inspectors in produce plants only once every few years, the agency has successfully accomplished these tracebacks. USDA on the other hand, has inspectors in every meat plant every day, yet is strangely unable to match FDA’s success in performing tracebacks. Perhaps the Obama administration is to be credited with the USDA’s born-again metamorphosis in its alleged desire to suddenly perform tracebacks to the origin of contamination. I can guarantee everyone one thing: we had best be closely watching every statement USDA makes in its January hearing, because the agency’s past performance in this area proves that USDA fears big packer clout more than it fears public health outbreaks.

John Munsell

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Ohio Issue #2

I just read this article here: http://www.consumerfreedom.com/news_detail.cfm/h/4047-is-hsus-going-buckeye-hunting

I am still disgusted by the passage of Issue #2 in Ohio. We are going to regret this, I promise you.

Here is my letter to their editor:

Dear Center for Consumer Freedom:

Reading the Issue #2 article. Everybody has this totally wrong. Issue #2 is what HSUS wanted. They only put up a token fight against it. In fact, I personally saw Pro Issue #2 signs right on the lawn in front of the Clark County HSUS headquarter building over near Springfield Ohio.

HSUS will end up with sympathizers or actual HSUS members on the new board because our governor will appoint them.

Your article said “Livestock farmers can expect a slow death by costly regulation”,
I agree, and that costly regulation will come from the board that is supposed to be farmer friendly.

We have one of the largest free range cattle ranches in Ohio, and this bill was shoved down our throats and people were blinded to the actual consequences that this bill will cause. We fought it, but couldn’t seem to get through to people.

This is how I see this bill,

–we changed our constitution so that our elected representatives can no longer vote on laws to regulate the represented.

–we put in a board of unknown people

–we put in a board of unelected people who can’t be voted out of office

–the new board can’t be appealed

–we don’t have a clue what rules they will make for us

–there never was a problem with “Safe Local Food”, I completely trust everything I purchase at the farmers market, it is the food that I get at Sams or Kroegers that could come from China and falsely relabeled by the USDA that I don’t trust.

Tell me the last food recall from a farmers market!

–I suspect that the board will be either controlled by the large packers and turkey farmers, or the HSUS, either way it will spell bad news for the little guy who can’t afford to comply with onerous rules.

This is a BAD bill and time will prove that to us. It will drive out the “Safe Local Food” in favor of the big packers, importers, GMO food etc..

Amendment #2 is nothing about “Freedom”

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