Posts Tagged fascism

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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The Money behind the National Animal ID System

Follow The Money

There are around 2.5 Billion Farm Animals that the USDA wants to track under the proposed National Animal Identification System. If and when this tracking system is put into place, it will mean two things:

1. A small number of private interests will make out big financially by supplying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tracking devices and software to livestock producers.

2. Small producers, unable to cope with the costly technology demands associated with animal tracking, could be forced to give up their farms and ranches — allowing major players like Cargill, Smithfield and Tyson to exercise an even greater control of meat production.1,2

For the time being, the animal tracking program is voluntary, though the USDA has invested more than $125 million in the last five years3 trying to create the support and infrastructure needed to advance a mandatory NAIS for livestock. In particular, tracking cattle is a high priority for the agency because it is seen as a way to restore international confidence in American beef after the discovery of mad cow disease devastated the industry in 2003. Much of this money has gone toward registering farm premises where livestock are found throughout the United States into a central database, the first step in creating a national animal-tracking program.

In order to advance the NAIS agenda, the USDA agreed in 2005 to begin privatizing parts of the system,4 creating another incentive for powerful industry trade groups to support the program. By providing the hardware, software and tracking technology, private industry groups and technology companies have already been able to extract millions of dollars from the proposed NAIS.

NAIS is the product of more than a decade of planning — mostly by the private sector — but only really gained momentum as an animal health measure seven years ago in response to the discovery of mad cow disease in the United States. NAIS continues to be as much the product of private industry and the non-profit trade groups that represent it as it is the USDA. Like wolves in sheep’s clothing, these trade organizations loudly promote an animal-tracking system as necessary for the meat industry while positioning themselves or their industry partners to possibly reap the windfall revenues that a mandatory animal-tracking program would generate.

The Costs

In April 2009, the USDA released a cost-benefit analysis of NAIS which estimates that a full-traceability animaltracking system will cost the livestock industry alone $209 million annually.5 The most costly part of NAIS involves Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), which could cost about $100 million for cattle alone.6 The preferred method of tagging and tracing cattle, RFID uses tiny radio transmitters about the size of a grain of rice that are either implanted into an animal or into an ear tag that the animal wears. In theory, this technology gives livestock producers and slaughterhouses the ability to quickly “scan” each animal and determine where it came from, which could help trace diseases in the event of an outbreak.

RFID technology is extremely costly for ranchers, but extremely lucrative for private technology providers. Currently only nine RFID manufacturers are recognized by the USDA as approved providers of the devices,7 and a handful seem to have emerged as the dominant competitors, vying for the tens of millions of dollars in revenue8 that a mandatory NAIS would generate each year.

These RFID providers will likely generate revenue disproportionately from small livestock producers. USDA estimates show that among livestock producers that don’t currently tag their beef cattle, the smallest producers — those with fewer than 50 head of cattle — would incur the highest RFID costs as a group, amounting to almost $35 million dollars a year.9 This is approximately how much all other beef cattle producers combined would pay.

For small livestock producers working on tight profit margins, these costs could be devastating. Larger producers have deep pockets and the advantage of economies of scale, allowing them to more easily adjust to the technological requirements of NAIS, a point that the USDA readily acknowledges.10 The USDA estimates that the RFID costs per head of cattle are somewhere between 30 and 200 percent greater for the smallest producers than the largest producers under a full-traceability NAIS,11 in part because big producers can buy larger quantities of RFID tags at a discount. Some estimates of the high costs small producers will pay are much higher than the USDA’s,12 with numbers surpassing $40 a head (about five times greater than the USDA estimate) when costs of RFID readers are included.13

The costs that livestock producers could incur under NAIS include: buying an RFID tag for each animal, buying an RFID applicator, paying someone to implant the device, buying an RFID reader, buying a computer and paying monthly internet services, creating the necessary infrastructure on a farm to support animal tracking, and providing the time and labor needed to register individual animals in an Animal Tracking Database — which is also a privatized venture, mostly controlled by a small number of corporations and private interests.

Consumers will have to pay The costs and time needed to comply with program requirements would give the largest operations a competitive advantage. This further promotes an unhealthy control of the meat market among a handful of corporations. Ironically, large-scale operators use confinement methods and feeding practices that are viewed by many as increasing the risk of animal diseases that NAIS would track.

The Players

Consider the Kansas Farm Bureau, a non-profit group that, according to its Web site, “represents grassroots agriculture” and “supports farm families who earn their living in a changing industry.”14

In carrying out these missions, the bureau has also managed to position itself to be a major beneficiary of the tech-fest that would unfold under mandatory NAIS. The Kansas Farm Bureau aggressively promotes its Beef Verification Solution, an animal-tracking program developed though its Agriculture Solutions division, in conjunction with AgInfoLink,15 a private tech company16 that could be one of the leading beneficiaries of a mandatory NAIS. The Beef Verification Solution, according to the Web site, is the “one-stop shop for ISO compliant, USDA approved radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags, RFID readers and data collection software.”17

Essentially, by contracting with private tech companies like AgInfoLink and using its members as its customer base, the Kansas Farm Bureau could generate large revenues for both itself and its private-sector partners.

And measured by the support it has received so far, the Kansas Farm Bureau seems to have done pretty well for itself. The Beef Verification Solution has received the endorsement of numerous trade groups and fellow farm bureaus in big cattle-producing states like Colorado,18 Oklahoma19 and Nebraska.20 The American Farm Bureau, the parent organization to all the state affiliates,21 has endorsed the program, too.22 By 2007, the Kansas Farm Bureau was boasting that the Beef Verification Solution was primed to capitalize on 24 percent of the cattle market.23

In marketing the Beef Verification Solution, the Kansas Farm Bureau and its partners encourage cattle producers to use other services provided by AgInfoLink,24 one of six companies offering an animal-tracking database that the USDA considers fully functioning and capable of providing traceability.25 In addition to promoting AgInfoLink’s CattleCards and BeefLink software,26 the Kansas Farm Bureau apparently also promotes business for the providers of RFID hardware, including the company Allflex.27

Illinois Beef Association (IBA)

In addition to its partnerships with the farm bureaus, AgInfoLink has also partnered with the Illinois Beef Association (IBA),28 a state-level affiliate of the powerful trade group the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA),29 whose industry partners include corporate meatpackers like Cargill, Smithfield and Tyson.30

From October 2006 to September 2007, during which time the IBA began endorsing AgInfoLink, the organization received $1.2 million from the beef checkoff,31 a government- initiated program that requires every cattle farmer in America to pay one dollar for every slaughtered head of cattle, supposedly to promote beef.32 Most of that money, which amounts to around $45 million a year,33 ends up in the hands of the NCBA34 and its affiliates like the IBA.35 It needs to be examined whether the NCBA is using this money in its efforts to promote an animal identification program, which would stand in contrast to its mission of supporting the interests of ranchers and cattle producers, many of whom may not support animal tracking.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)

The NCBA, which collects around $45 million dollars a year in beef checkoff money,36 has worked as a major stakeholder in the development of NAIS, hoping that an animal-tracking program would have been in place by 2007.37 In that year, an NCBA affiliate called the National Cattlemen’s Foundation38 entered into a cooperative agreement with the USDA39 to help register farm premises — part of a push to expand the NAIS database. Shortly before cooperative agreement was announced, the National Cattlemen’s Foundation received more than $2 million from the USDA.40

Back in 2004, the NCBA began working with private technology groups that would benefit financially from NAIS. Called the Beef Information Exchange and apparently comprised of a group of animal-tracking service providers, the group was promoted by one of NCBA’s members, Mark Armentrout, who was also the chief operating officer of AgInfoLink Global, Inc.41

Additionally, the NCBA sits with the American Farm Bureau on the board the United States Animal Identification Organization (USAIO),42,43 which has its own NAIScompliant Animal Tracking Database,44 a potentially big money-maker should NAIS become mandatory.

Most of the big names in animal identification have aligned themselves with NCBA, sometimes making cash donations to the organization. Both Allflex USA and Schering-Plough Animal Health (Schering-Plough owns Global Animal Management), two approved technology providers for NAIS, donated $100,000 to the NCBA to become “Allied Industry Partner” Gold Level Sponsors.45

The Sunset of Family Farming as we know it?

Other technology providers like Destron-Fearing, Y-Tex and AgInfoLink count themselves as allied Industry Council members or associates.46

United States Animal Identification Organization (USAIO)

Established to “oversee a database solution for tracking animals”47 and built with members from some of the most powerful farm groups, the USAIO seems to have an interest in controlling a database for tracking animals — and perhaps benefiting from the huge revenues that would come with it.

Like the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, the USAIO entered into a cooperative agreement with the USDA to register farm premises. Shortly before the agreement was announced, the USDA awarded the USAIO $1.5 million in taxpayer money.48 The group planned to register as many as 100,000 new farm premises under the agreement, the first step toward initiating a fully functional National Animal Identification System.49

The USDA has put $9 million toward these cooperative agreements,50 with non-profit organizations51,52 that frequently have close ties to industry. As one USDA official said about these organizations, “In many cases, these groups don’t just represent industry, they are industry…”53

Big players like Microsoft may also leverage their financial power and political connections if NAIS becomes a mandatory program. In 2006, the USAIO teamed up with Microsoft and a company called Viatrace to offer what they called an “industry-led, multispecies animal tracking database to record movements of livestock from point of origin to processing.”54

One report indicates that USAIO disbanded in 2007,55 but the group’s animal-tracking database remains on the current USDA list of approved providers.

Agri Beef

Agri Beef, a vertically integrated cattle operation56 that regularly ranks as one of the largest in America,57,58 serves as the first point of contact for USAIO’s Animal Tracking Database.59 Though the exact relationship between the USAIO, a non-profit group, and Agri Beef, a for-profit meat producer, is unclear, it seems that their animal-tracking database could generate big money for both the groups.

Piercing pain in the ear!The vice president of Agri Beef is Rick Stott,60 listed as one of a handful of members on the USAIO in 2006.61 He also has served as a member of major industry groups like the NCBA.62 And Stott worked on a governmentsponsored pilot NAIS project in the Pacific Northwest called the Northwest Pilot Project,63 reportedly worth more than a million dollars.64

As the chairman of the project, which was administered by the Idaho Cattlemen Association65 (affiliated with the NCBA66), Stott was able to help shape and test a pilot NAIS program based on the proposed national system, which he, his employer and his industry friends could benefit from enormously.

But also disconcerting is that Stott, as the head of a pilot project, apparently was overseeing the collection and processing of private data of dozens of other cattle producers participating in the program67 — essentially giving him access to proprietary information about his competitors. Big agribusiness groups have pushed the USDA to keep the animal-tracking databases out of government’s hands, claiming that any other arrangement would subject a company’s data to Freedom of Information Act requests or new government regulations.68,69 But keeping the database in the hands of big agribusiness — whether with private companies or the trade industries that represent big agribusiness — could force small livestock producers to disclose confidential information about their operations (size of herd, types of animals, etc.) to competitors or the companies they sell to.

The Money Funnel

The financial windfall that has fallen from government to the private sector with NAIS has been mighty, and there seems to be no end in sight. The federal government has already spent more than $125 million on the development of NAIS,70 funneling money into private industries and state governments to promote the animaltracking program.

Though NAIS is not yet a mandatory program, many technology providers have already benefitted financially in a big way. Global Animal Management71 and Digital Angel72 have both received more than half a million dollars in government contracts for animal tracking devices, while Allflex has raked in close to $1 million.73

It is important to note that these companies spend money in lobbying efforts around NAIS. The owner of Global Animal Management, a large pharmaceutical corporation called Schering-Plough, plowed millions of dollars a year into lobbying efforts in both 2007 and 2008, some of it on animal identification issues.74 Between 2004 and 2007, Digital Angel spent more than a million dollars on lobbying efforts75 and Allflex spent an undisclosed amount (under $10,000)76 in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

More disconcerting, it appears that two of these three competitors have partnered, further reducing competition among RFID providers. In 2008, Digital Angel and Global Animal Management (owned by Schering-Plough) announced a deal in which Digital Angel would acquire the rights to Global Animal Management’s RFID tag77, 78 made by Geissler Technology.79

Digital Angel’s acquisition of a competitor’s RFID-technology could prove to be a wise investment. As part of its 2009 budget, the USDA plans to spend millions of dollars on a campaign directed at the cattle industry called “840 Start Up.”80 The ‘840’ refers to the United States’ three digit country code that precedes animal identification numbers. The number also refers to the RFID devices that can store and transmit the ID numbers. As more and more farm premises are registered in a national database, the next step in NAIS is to outfit all farm animals with these 840 RFID tags.

This is the meat that you will be paying much more for if this dastardly NAIS program goes into effect!!And because RFID devices are sold by privately owned companies, the USDA’s multi-million dollar “840 Start Up” campaign may really serve to funnel millions of dollars into the bank accounts of the few tech companies that have been approved to sell these products.

Whether it is taxpayers or the farmers themselves who would end up paying for the technology under NAIS, it is clear that it will be the tech companies and the trade organizations they align with that will benefit.

Case Study: Wisconsin

One of the best places to follow the money behind NAIS is Wisconsin, where the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) and its partner group, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (WDATCP)81 have managed to secure close to $7 million in federal funding and more than a million dollars in non-federal funding over the last eight years.82,83 Bolstered by a state law requiring every farm premises to be registered in a central database, these groups are serving as administrators of what amounts to a state-level pilot project for NAIS.

The WLIC, a consortium of private industry stakeholders and government agencies, has used these federal tax dollars to fund groups that could benefit financially from NAIS. By the middle of 2005, WLIC reportedly was funding more than a dozen research projects valued at close to $400,000, with money going to the Wisconsin Pork Association,84 which currently sits on the WLIC board of directors, and Smithfield, a current member of WLIC.85

WLIC was founded in 2002 as “a proactive, livestock industry- driven effort”86 with a mission “to create a secure, nationally compatible livestock identification system.”87 The members and affiliates of the consortium read like a laundry list of the corporate and private interests that stand to gain from a mandatory NAIS. The big animal-ID tech companies, like AgInfoLink, Digital Angel, Global Animal Management, Y-Tex and Allflex USA, are all represented as members.88

In coalition with the Wisconsin Department of Trade and Consumer Protection, the WLIC has developed its own USDA-compliant Animal Tracking Database — one of six that the USDA considers fully functional and capable of providing traceability.89

The push for animal tracking in Wisconsin, however, has not gone smoothly. Some farmers continue to resist registering their premises or participating in animal identification — either because of privacy or property rights concerns, or, in the case of Amish farmers, on religious grounds.90 In 2007, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture began sending letters to dairy farmers on unregistered premises indicating their milk production licenses could be revoked if they failed to register their farms.91 This threat, which would have essentially forced non-compliant dairy farmers to go out of business, was eventually softened,92 but to critics of NAIS, it demonstrates the heavy-handed tactics that government agencies are willing to use to promote the program.

Case Study: Michigan

Government approved cows tagged with fascist RFID tags!The state of Michigan has gone a step farther than Wisconsin, issuing a requirement that every head of cattle in the state must now have an RFID tag, essentially creating a state-wide mandatory animal-tracking system.93 Additionally, Michigan is using an animal-tracking system maintained by Holstein Association USA,94 a large nonprofit industry group.

Until late spring 2009, the Michigan Department of Agriculture’s Web site directed farmers needing to purchase the mandatory RFID tags to Holstein Association USA, which sells tags at $2 each,95 plus a $20 fee for the applicator,96 the tool that attaches the ear tag to the cow. (A recent update to the site now includes another tag provider, but the site still emphasizes Holstein Association USA.) In 2007, the state announced that cattle producers had bought more than one million RFID tags.97 That represents at least $2 million in sales, with the proceeds apparently going to Holstein Association USA and the provider of its tags, a company called Allflex.98 In addition to the revenues it may generate from the RFID hardware, Holstein Association USA also serves as the administrator99 of Michigan’s animal-tracking database,100 which could provide another source of revenue. In 2007, Holstein Association USA boasted that its animal-tracking database is one of the world’s largest, with more than 5 million cows registered.101

When the state of Michigan began requiring all livestock owners to register and tag their farm animals and then directing farmers to a single purchasing option for the animal-tracking hardware and software, the state essentially funneled millions of dollars into the Holstein/ Allflex partnership.

(If you diligently scour the Michigan Department of Agriculture’s Web site, you find that you can also order RFID tags from Northstar Cooperative,102 which sells tags from Allflex and one other tech company, Digital Angel.103 The USDA has declared nine different RFID-providers as NAIS-compliant, so it is unclear why the state of Michigan would direct its livestock producers to a single provider.104)

On top of these de facto state subsidies to Holstein Association USA, the federal government has also given the group millions of dollars directly. Holstein Association USA has received more than $3 million in federal funding between 2000 and 2007 to develop animal-tracking programs.105

NAIS Failure

If you take a hard look at the money associated with NAIS, you find that the numbers don’t add up to a net benefit for consumers or livestock producers. The government has invested $125 million so far trying to promote NAIS, a program that will cost producers $200 million a year. These huge sums of money guarantee very little in terms of improved food safety because the tracking ends at slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants where most food safety problems occur. The money the USDA is plowing into NAIS would go far further if it were used instead to bolster existing food safety programs and existing animal health programs that aim to prevent disease.

The costs associated with NAIS threaten to increase the price of meat for consumers and to ruin the businesses of countless small producers, who would bear significantly greater financial pressure relative to larger producers adapting to the technological demands of NAIS. Because NAIS favors large-scale industrialized operations, which have deeper pockets to pay for the necessary technology, and puts financial pressure on small producers, a mandatory NAIS could contribute to a further concentration of the livestock industry among a few corporations.106

Indeed, the only sure outcome of NAIS are the windfall rewards, which tech companies and the trade groups that support them are currently jockeying to catch. The consortiums they form with private technology providers and federal and state governments are too cozy and too lucrative to give the system an appearance of anything but a cash cow for corporate beneficiaries. The tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money that has already poured into NAIS has done more to enrich a handful of money-minded organizations than to ensure food safety, and it is time that the USDA jettison this program.


Endnotes

1 Duffey, Patrick. “Dismantling of Farmland continues; Smithfield buying pork business.” USDA Rural Development. November 2003.

2 Heffernan, William and Mary Hendrickson. “Concentration of Agricultural Markets.” Department of Rural Sociology, University of Missouri. April 2007. http://nfu.org/issues/economic-policy/ resources/heffernan-report

3 USDA. “A business plan to advance animal disease traceability.” September 2008 at 41.

4 USDA. “A business plan to advance animal disease traceability.” September 2008 at 51.

5 USDA. “Benefit-Cost Analysis of the National Animal Identification System.” January 14, 2009 at Table 4.10.

6 USDA. “Benefit-Cost Analysis of the National Animal Identification System.” January 14, 2009 at Table 4.10.

7 USDA. List of approved NAIS devices. animalid.aphis.usda.gov/ nais/naislibrary/documents/guidelines/NAIS_ID_Tag_Web_ Listing.pdf

8 USDA. “Benefit-Cost Analysis of the National Animal Identification System.” January 14, 2009 at Table 4.10.

9 USDA. “Benefit-Cost Analysis of the National Animal Identification System.” January 14, 2009 at Table 4.2.

10 USDA. See “Benefit-Cost Analysis of the National Animal Identification System.” January 14, 2009 at 24, 29, 48.

11 USDA. “Benefit-Cost Analysis of the National Animal Identification System.” January 14, 2009 at Table 4.2.

12 Blasi, Dale et al. “Estimated Costs of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Systems.” 2005. http://beefstockerusa.org/rfid/. 2005.

13 Cattlenetwork. “Jolley: Five Minutes With Dr. Dale Blasi, Kansas State University.” May 8, 2009. http://www.cattlenetwork.com/ content.asp?ContentId=313299

14 Kansas Farm Bureau. “About Us.” http://www.kfb.org/aboutus/aboutus.htm

15 Kansas Farm Bureau. “Knowledge IS Power: The Value of Knowing Your Cow Herd From the Inside Out.” December 2008.

16 AgInfoLink “About Us” and “Locations.” http://www.aginfolink.com/aboutus.html and http://www.aginfolink.com/web/locations/ locations.htm

17 Agricultural Solutions. “Beef Verification Solution Program Description.” http://www.agsolusa.com/bvs/Aboutus.htm.

18 Kansas Farm Bureau. “KFB’s Beef Verification Solution Partners With Colorado Farm Bureau.” November 16, 2007.

19 Kansas Farm Bureau. “KFB’s Beef Verification Solution Partners With Oklahoma Farm Bureau.” July 24, 2007.

20 Kansas Farm Bureau. “Beef Verification Solution Partners With Nebraska Farm Bureau.” February 1, 2007 Kansas Farm Bureau. “Increasing the Value of this Year’s Calf Crop.” August 29, 2007.

21 American Farm Bureau. http://www.fb.org/index. php?fuseaction=newsroom.statefbs

22 American Farm Bureau. “Excitement Building for New Animal ID System.” January 8, 2006

23 Kansas Farm Bureau. “Increasing the Value of this Year’s Calf Crop.” August 29, 2007.

24 Kansas Farm Bureau. “Increasing the Value of this Year’s Calf Crop.” August 29, 2007. 25 USDA. National Animal Identification System Compliant Animal Tracking Databases Status Report.

26 Kansas Farm Bureau. “Knowledge IS Power: The Value of Knowing Your Cow Herd From the Inside Out.” December 2008.

27 Kansas Farm Bureau. “KFB’s Beef Verification Solution Now Offers More Radio Frequency ID Tag Choices.” July 3, 2008.

28 AgInfoLink. “AgInfoLink and Illinois Beef Association Team Up on Animal Information Services; Wellman Joins AgInfoLink Staff.” April 17, 2007

29 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “State Affiliates.” http://www.beefusa.org/affistateaffiliates.aspx

30 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “Allied Industry Partners.” www.beefusa.org/affialliedindustrypartners.aspx

31 IRS 990 form. 2007 at 8.

32 Cattlemen’s Beef Board. “Financial & Audit.” http://www.beefboard.org/financial/financial_audit.asp

33 Cattlemen’s Beef Board. “Annual Report.” 2008 at 13. http://www.beefboard.org/library/annual-reports.asp

34 Cattlemen’s Beef Board. “Annual Report. 2008 at 14. http://www.beefboard.org/library/annual-reports.asp

35 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. http://www.beefusa.org/affistateaffiliates.aspx

36 Cattlemen’s Beef Board. Annual Report. 2008 at 14. http://www.beefboard.org/library/annual-reports.asp

37 Cattlemen’s Beef Board. Long-Range Plan 2010. 2006. http://www.beefboard.org/library/annual-reports.asp

38 990 IRS Form. 2007.

39 USDA. “National Cattlemens Foundation Partners With USDA To Register Premises As Part of the National Animal Identification System.” November 30, 2007.

40 Information found at www.usaspending.gov.

41 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. 2004 Beef Business Bulletin Stories Archive. “Industry Seeks Private Sector Animal ID System.” 2004.

42 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “USAIO Statement on USDA’s National Animal Identification System Implementation Plan.” April 6, 2006.

43 Nebraska Cattlemen Newsline. “Independent Consortium Formed To Manage National Animal ID Database.” January 18, 2006.

44 USDA. National Animal Identification System Compliant Animal Tracking Databases Status Report.

45 Information Available online at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Web site (www.beefusa.org), under “Allied Industry Partners.”

46 Information Available online at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Web site (www.beefusa.org), under “Allied Industry Partners.”

47 American Farm Bureau Federation. “Shawcroft Selected to Animal ID Organization.” March 31, 2006.

48 Found at USAspending.gov. The USDA has only ever awarded the USAIO one cooperative agreement, which was worth $1.5 million and which happened in close proximity to the USDA announcement of its NAIS agreement the USAIO.

49 USDA. “U.S. Animal Identification Organization Promotes National Animal Identification System.” July 17, 2007.

50 USDA. “A Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability.” September 2008 at 44.

51 USDA. “USDA Announces Plans to Expand National Animal Identification System Cooperative Agreements to Nonprofit Organizations.” Feb. 2, 2007

52 USDA. “A Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability.” At 36.

53 Email from Ed Curlett to “Community Outreach Partners.” January 16, 2007.

54 Microsoft. “High-Tech Animal Database Launched to Help Ensure U.S. Livestock Producers Maintain Competitive Edge in the Global Marketplace.” March 1, 2006

55 Northwest Pilot Project. “Final Report: Addendum.” June 2007 at 15.

56 Agri Beef. “Agri Beef Co. Partners with Loomis Cattle Company to Develop the Finest Beef in the Northwest.”

57 Peck, Clint. “Northwest Entrepreneur.” Beef Magazine. Jan 1, 2002.

58 Northwest Farm Credit Services. “Industry Perspective, Feedlot.” 2007.

59 USDA. National Animal Identification System Compliant Animal Tracking Databases Status Report.

60 Agri Beef Company. Information found at http://www.Agri Beef.com/Agri Beefco/contact.asp

61 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “USAIO Statement on USDA’s National Animal Identification System Implementation Plan.” April 6, 2006.

62 NCBA. “National ID Program for Livestock on Track, Cattlemen Say.” September 28, 2005.

63 Northwest Pilot Project. “Final Report.” 2006 at 34. http://www. northwestpilot.org

64 Evans, Tony. “A Beeper for Every Cow.” Boise Weekly. June 21, 2006.

65 Ibid.

66 Idaho Cattle Association. “About ICA.” http://www.idahocattle. org/about.dsp

67 Northwest Pilot Project. “Final Report.” http://www.northwestpilot. org

68 American Farm Bureau. “Stallman says NAIS requires producer involvement.” September 28, 2005.

Farm families like this will be driven out of existance.

69 Oklahoma Farm Report. “NCBA Continues to Worry About Mandatory Animal ID.” May 8, 2009.

70 USDA. “A business plan to advance animal disease traceability.” September 2008 at 41.

71 Information found at http://www.usaspending.gov

72 Information found at http://www.usaspending.gov

73 Information found at http://www.usaspending.gov

74 Information found at http://www.opensecrets.org

75 Information found at http://www.opensecrets.org

76 Information found at http://www.opensecrets.org

77 Digital Angel. “Digital Angel’s Recent Acquisition of Geissler Technologies Expands Company’s Commercial Relationship with Schering-Plough.” January 18, 2008

78 Global Animal Management. “Program Compliant Tags.” October 14, 2008. https://www.mygamonline.com/trimerit/images/ approvedtaglist.pdf

79 USDA. “National Animal Identification System: Official Animal Identification Number (AIN) Devices.” December 10, 2008.

80 USDA. “A Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability.” September 2008 at 47.

81 Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection. www.datcp.state.wi.us/premises/index.jsp

82 Data for the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium found at www.usaspending.gov and www.fedspending.org

83 Data for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture found at www. usaspending.gov and www.fedspending.org

84 National Hog Farmer. Wisconsin Funds ID Projects National Hog Farmer. June 15, 2005

85 “Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) Board, Members, Ex Officio and Staff.” http://www.wiid.org.

86 Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC). “WLIC History.” http://www.wiid.org.

87 Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC). “WLIC Philosophy.” http://www.wiid.org.

88 “Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) Board, Members, Ex Officio and Staff.” http://www.wiid.org.

89 USDA. “National Animal Identification System Compliant Animal Tracking Databases Status Report.” March 19, 2009.

90 Jones, Tim. “Using modern laws to keep Amish ways.” Chicago Tribune. September 20, 2008.

91 Leaf, Nathan. “Livestock Registration Law Opposed.” Wisconsin State Journal. April 25, 2007.

92 Hundt, Tim. “Premises ID Enforcement Put on Hold.” Vernon County Broadcaster. May 2, 2007.

93 Michigan Department of Agriculture. “Questions and Answers for Mandatory Cattle Identification Program.” http://www.michigan. gov/mda/0,1607,7-125–137059–,00.html

94 Michigan Department of Agriculture. “Electronic Identification Program.” http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-48096_ 48149-86002–,00.html

95 Michigan Department of Agriculture. “Order Bovine Tags.” http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-48096_48149-172 599–,00.html

96 Personal communication with Holstein Association USA sales associate.

97 State of Michigan. “One Million Electronic ID tags purchased by Michigan Beef and Dairy Producers.” November 8, 2007. Found at http://www.michigan.gov

98 Holstein Association USA. http://www.holsteinusa.com/animal_ id/tag_id.html

99 USDA. Food Safety Research Information Office. “Animal Identification Pilot Project.” Available online at: fsrio.nal.usda.gov/ research/fsheets/fsheet12.pdf

100 Michigan Department of Agriculture. “Electronic Identification Program.” http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-48096_ 48149-86002–,00.html

101 Holstein Association USA. “Holstein Association USA Approved by USDA as a Compliant Animal Tracking Database.” October 18, 2007

102 Michigan Department of Agriculture. “Questions and Answers for Mandatory Cattle Identification Program.” http://www.michigan. gov/mda/0,1607,7-125–137059–,00.html

103 Northstar Cooperative. http://www.northstarcooperative.com/ dhia/ProductsAndServices/spryRFID.html

www.Foodandwaterwatch.org104 Several places on the Web site such as “Order Bovine Eartags” direct you to Holstein USA, although in late spring 2009 some portions of the website did add Northstar Cooperative to the page. However, if you download a PDF entitled “Mandatory Cattle Identification Program Q & A,” the question-and-answer number-23 informs you that you can also order RFID tags from Northstar Cooperative.

105 Information found at http://www.usaspending.gov

106 Heffernan, William and Mary Hendrickson. “Concentration of Agricultural Markets.” Department of Rural Sociology, University of Missouri. April 2007. http://nfu.org/issues/economic-policy/ resources/heffernan-report

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Wisconsin Steps up funding for NAIS/Premises ID

ppjg-48

Marti Oakley

Copyright 2009  All rights reserved.

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

Senator Kohl of Wisconsin who had a direct hand in setting up the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the USDA to force the Wisconsin farmers and ranchers into the NAIS/Premises ID and who also, along with Rep. Obey facilitated the cooperative funding agreement [bribery payment] cementing that contract with the USDA, just announced that $1,550,000 has been allotted to WLIC.  This was the consortium set up after NAIS/Premises ID was shoved through the Wisconsin legislature and promoted as a strictly “voluntary” program.

Recent developments lauded by many in agricultural circles as the “end of NAIS’ as a result of funding being withheld or denied on the federal level, apparently weren’t aware that the USDA through its for-profit activities as a sub-corporation of the federal corporate government, has nearly limitless sources of funds that can be used for any thing they deem appropriate.  With the agricultural industrial complex willing to supply any and all funds necessary to overthrow traditional farming and ranching in favor of industrialized operations, USDA has no shortage of funds that can be paid to bankrupted states in desperate needs of funds to continue operating.  So what if  traditional farmers are driven off their lands and forced to forfeit everything they have worked for so long as corporations can make a profit and states can pad their coffers with bribe money.

AgriView

Kohl Secures Funding for Wisconsin Projects in 2009 Agriculture Spending Bill

From article on Agri-view comes this excerpt:

“-$1,550,000 for the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium – The Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium, though the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, leads the nation in developing a workable approach for premise registration, a critical element of livestock identification and tracking.  These resources will allow that work to continue.”

Apparently NAIS/Premises ID forced compliance is in full swing in Wisconsin and Senator Kohl appears to be quite proud of the fact that Wisconsin, one of three test states first bribed by the USDA to bypass Constitutional rights and protections not only on the federal level, but also in gross violation of the Wisconsin Constitution itself prides himself and his state on leading the nation in developing a “workable” approach to Premises ID and NAIS, both key components of Codex Alimentarius.

I can only presume that “workable approach” must mean the prosecution of those farmers and ranchers who have steadfastly refused to comply with this [voluntary] program and the subsequent persecution of an Amish farmer who objected on religious grounds, now forced to defend himself and his religious beliefs in court against a government machine that exists to end all but industrialized harmonization agreements and illegal and unconstitutional trade agreements.

The recent and first round of court proceedings against the Amish forced Wisconsin officials to admit neither NAIS nor Premises ID had done, or would do anything to increase the safety of the food supply.  With this admission, answers should be demanded as to why they entered into such an agreement, took the bribe money and persist in prosecuting those who refuse to convey ownership of their property to USDA acting as agent for the federal government.

Of course, Senator Kohl along with Representative Obey were instrumental in storing the data mined information on the gps location of all agricultural properties and owners, along with any other information they had mined, in the Oracle database, and moving that database off US soil into storage in Canada to make it unavailable to FOIA requests.  This move was made until a provision could be slipped not only into the 2005, but also 2008 Farm Bills making any such requests for information unobtainable by the very people logged into that database; with or without their knowledge.

No where in the Constitution of the state of Wisconsin, nor in the federal Constitution does the government have any right, other than power it has granted itself under fictions of law, to implement or otherwise force compliance to these programs.  Even the illegally ceded authority granted to unelected bureaucracies can not hold up to constitutional challenges.

At what point will Wisconsin property holders demand the right to be left alone by government?  At what point will they move to impeach from office these same public officials who have violated the public trust; assaulted their property rights and have conspired with the industrialized corporate complex to defraud them of their right to life, liberty and their right to own property free of government interference?

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Leash the Government

Latest posting to TacitusDominatus.com

THE LEASH

The only reason for governance, or governments if you will, is to serve the public; us!  Never, ever forget this.  If you have never understood this absolute or lose sight of it from time to time, then put it to memory.  It is the fundamental foundation upon which all men, especially free men, rest their liberties and their lives.  Take these words literally!

This brings me to the problem of how to convey to those of you who can’t see the wisdom and necessity of a constitution, its crucial importance to our society.  Think of government as a dog.  You know, a real dog (ie. over 50 lbs).  Most dog owners, be they families, single women, businesses, etc. want a dog for company yes, but primarily as an early warning system and first line of defense against intruders.  Fido lays around taking up space and food, and shedding until that knock at the door, warning bark of the neighborhood hound-watch program or imperceptible sound that only they can hear, then he springs into action; barking, snarling, gnashing of teeth and pouncing on you eager to alert you to the threat; ultimately protecting his meal-ticket.  Yes, they become fast friends with the kids and are propounded with much love and treats, but all the while their true purpose is to shield and protect, is it not?  This brings us to the leash.

All dog owners know what it is to take the hound for a walk to take care of business.  It’s the time when Fido starts to feel his oats and gets downright uppity.  “Sit Fido, sit!”  “No, don’t chase that cat, come back here!”  “Drop that kid’s ice-cream cone.”  “Don’t run from me, get back here.”  “Don’t you dare bare your teeth at me you mange mutt!”  Anyway, you get the picture.

If not for that leash, what control would we have?  Ask any dog trainer.  That leash is your tool, your control of your trusty servant; which without ol’ trusty probably wouldn’t pay you much mind; if he pays you any mind at all.  And this is the simile I’m bringing to your attention.  Think of a constitution as a leash.  It’s the tool by which we, the People, maintain control of our dog, I mean government.  Every time the government gets a little flighty and wants to run out-of-bounds; of the law, we need to jerk them back.  Done so by showing them chapter and verse in the Constitution where it is the ‘Supreme Law of our Land,’ not the government!  When Fido starts eating too much and can hardly get up to see, let alone bark at strangers anymore, then we need to tie him up away from the food bowl and exercise him more.  You know, just stop giving them so much money and tell them to work harder; not just hire more and more dogs.  And by God, when Fido starts thinking he’s the one in charge and snaps at you or the kids, then that’s when you grab your end of the leash and hang Fido by his scrawny neck until he remembers who serves who.  Remember, the government (dog) serves the People (owners); not the other way around.  Because when the dog is in charge, we’re the servant!  Get it?

So, it’s high time that we take OUR Constitution, that proverbial leash and start using it; because if you read and study it you’ll see that it is a leash; one that has a handle on one end and a choker chain on the other.  All you have to do is make sure you’re the one holding the handle.  Because by God, if through ignorance or apathy, you let Fido get that noose around your neck, you can damn well kiss your liberties good-bye.  To not read, study and exercise our Constitution is the surest way of placing the choker on oneself and handing the other end to the government; the dogs who will continually choke (oppress) you into submission or to death, if you are to resist.  It’s a historical maxim.

Brian Kilcullen

“Enemies in War”

For more by and about Brian Kilcullen go to his web site by clicking on the following link:  Enemies in War

The only reason for governance, or governments if you will, is to serve the public; us!  Never, ever forget this.  If you have never understood this absolute or lose sight of it from time to time, then put it to memory.  It is the fundamental foundation upon which all men, especially free men, rest their liberties and their lives.  Take these words literally!

This brings me to the problem of how to convey to those of you who can’t see the wisdom and necessity of a constitution, its crucial importance to our society.  Think of government as a dog.  You know, a real dog (ie. over 50 lbs).  Most dog owners, be they families, single women, businesses, etc. want a dog for company yes, but primarily as an early warning system and first line of defense against intruders.  Fido lays around taking up space and food, and shedding until that knock at the door, warning bark of the neighborhood hound-watch program or imperceptible sound that only they can hear, then he springs into action; barking, snarling, gnashing of teeth and pouncing on you eager to alert you to the threat; ultimately protecting his meal-ticket.  Yes, they become fast friends with the kids and are propounded with much love and treats, but all the while their true purpose is to shield and protect, is it not?  This brings us to the leash.

All dog owners know what it is to take the hound for a walk to take care of business.  It’s the time when Fido starts to feel his oats and gets downright uppity.  “Sit Fido, sit!”  “No, don’t chase that cat, come back here!”  “Drop that kid’s ice-cream cone.”  “Don’t run from me, get back here.”  “Don’t you dare bare your teeth at me you mange mutt!”  Anyway, you get the picture.

If not for that leash, what control would we have?  Ask any dog trainer.  That leash is your tool, your control of your trusty servant; which without ol’ trusty probably wouldn’t pay you much mind; if he pays you any mind at all.  And this is the simile I’m bringing to your attention.  Think of a constitution as a leash.  It’s the tool by which we, the People, maintain control of our dog, I mean government.  Every time the government gets a little flighty and wants to run out-of-bounds; of the law, we need to jerk them back.  Done so by showing them chapter and verse in the Constitution where it is the ‘Supreme Law of our Land,’ not the government!  When Fido starts eating too much and can hardly get up to see, let alone bark at strangers anymore, then we need to tie him up away from the food bowl and exercise him more.  You know, just stop giving them so much money and tell them to work harder; not just hire more and more dogs.  And by God, when Fido starts thinking he’s the one in charge and snaps at you or the kids, then that’s when you grab your end of the leash and hang Fido by his scrawny neck until he remembers who serves who.  Remember, the government (dog) serves the People (owners); not the other way around.  Because when the dog is in charge, we’re the servant!  Get it?

So, it’s high time that we take OUR Constitution, that proverbial leash and start using it; because if you read and study it you’ll see that it is a leash; one that has a handle on one end and a choker chain on the other.  All you have to do is make sure you’re the one holding the handle.  Because by God, if through ignorance or apathy, you let Fido get that noose around your neck, you can damn well kiss your liberties good-bye.  To not read, study and exercise our Constitution is the surest way of placing the choker on oneself and handing the other end to the government; the dogs who will continually choke (oppress) you into submission or to death, if you are to resist.  It’s a historical maxim.

Brian Kilcullen

“Enemies in War”

For more by and about Brian Kilcullen go to his web site by clicking on the following link:  Enemies in War

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NAIS Enforcement Commences against Amish Farmer

R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America

“Fighting for the U.S. Cattle Producer”

For Immediate Release
Contact: Shae Dodson-Chambers, Communications Coordinator

October 14, 2009

Phone: 406-672-8969; e-mail: sdodson@r-calfusa.com

Op-Ed by R-CALF USA Animal ID Committee Chair Kenny Fox**
It Appears NAIS Enforcement Gets Underway in Wisconsin

Billings, Mont. — It appears that in the state of Wisconsin, which has mandated the first prong of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Animal Identification System (NAIS) through agency rule making, prosecution of individuals opposed to NAIS has begun.

On Sept. 23, 2009, an Amish gentleman named Emanuel J. Miller, Jr., was taken to Clark County Court in Neillsville, Wis., for an evidentiary hearing on complex civil forfeiture for failing to register his premises. The case immediately moved to the first stage of trial. Miller and his father, as well as their church deacon, testified as to their objections to being forced to use the NAIS premises identification number (PIN). As USDA has proudly proclaimed in many glossy brochures, premises registration is the “first step” in the NAIS, and the Wisconsin Amish have become quite aware of this.

On Oct. 21, 2009, in Polk County, Wis., R-CALF USA Members Pat and Melissa Monchilovich are going to trial for the same charges of complex civil forfeiture. Pat and his wife raise cattle in Cumberland, Wis., and have failed to register their property as a premises with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, as Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) requires by regulation.

This is the tip of the NAIS iceberg. One could look upon Wisconsin as the sentinel case in the enforcement measures necessary to bring this nation’s citizens into compliance with NAIS.

Although the statute that enables Wisconsin’s DATCP to require premises registration does indeed allow for exemptions, when DATCP wrote the regulations, it decided to disallow any exemptions. This is a major issue, particularly with the Amish community (and others) who hold religious objections to the NAIS.

At the Miller hearing, the Amish said that although they cannot state with absolute certainty that the NAIS’ premises identification number is the precursor to the “Mark of the Beast,” they do know it is the first step of NAIS that leads to the individual numbering and tracking of animals. The Amish said they believe caution is in order to avoid discovering later that they had violated their beliefs and then have no recourse to remedy that error. Their religious objections to obtaining an NAIS PIN are real and personal.

Despite a desire on the part of proponents of NAIS to negate religious objections to NAIS, the fact that it is a global program is indisputable, as enforcement measures and final details are left up to member nations of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In Australia*, rancher Stephen Blair was fined a total of $17,300 for using the wrong tags on 177 of his cattle. Notably, the components of Australia’s National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) are the same as those in NAIS.

In March 2007*, another case in which the identification of cattle was in violation of the identification mandate to facilitate global trade happened the United Kingdom (UK). Dairy farmer David Dobbin had an unspecified number of cattle whose tags didn’t match their “passports.” The European Union (EU) regulations allowed the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), to confiscate both his cattle and his passports and to require that he positively identify the herd within 48 hours or face the loss of his cattle. It is a complete impossibility to positively identify animals with neither the animals nor their paperwork, but that was DEFRA’s requirement. The case was put off for one month and then appealed on the basis that DEFRA could ! not afford to keep feeding Dobbin’s cattle, so the animals were destroyed. Mr. Dobbin lost 567 cattle and was paid no indemnity at all.

At issue in the Wisconsin cases is that we are witnessing the first enforcement actions in the implementation of NAIS. The fines in the charges brought against Miller and the Monchilovichs are between $200 and $5,000. Premises identification is just the first step of NAIS, second is the identification of one’s animals, and third is the tracking of each and every movement of one’s animals. The final component is enforcement, which is now coming to bear in Wisconsin.

More than 90 percent of those who attended USDA’s recent “listening” sessions on NAIS said “No NAIS. Not Now, Not Ever!” If we mean that, then we must stand in support of these Wisconsin people being charged with NAIS violations.

* Background: 1) Miller trial, http://ppjg.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/the-lost-people-part-ii/; 2) Stephen Blair, Australia, http://nqr.farmonline.com.au/news/nationalrural/livestock/cattle/cattle-producer-ordered-to-pay-17300-for-nlis-tag-breach/798558.aspx%20); and, 3) Dobbin/UK, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1545862/Christopher-Bookers-notebook.html.

** Contact R-CALF USA Communications Coordinator Shae Dodson-Chambers to request photo and/or bio information on R-CALF USA Animal Health Committee Chair Kenny Fox. Op-Ed is 720 words.

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NAIS Non-Compliance Trial Update

NAIS Non-Compliance Trial Update
Please Broadcast

Emmanuel Miller, Jr., of Wisconsin, is the first American to have been tried for NAIS non-compliance, on Wednesday September 23.  Wisconsin requires NAIS “premises” registration and many farmers, including Emmanuel Miller, Jr., have refused to comply. Pat Monchilovich, another who refused, goes to trial in October.

This is an enormous historic event, and a pivotal moment in the anti-NAIS movement.  Read Paul Griepentrog’s first hand report on the trial:
http://ppjg.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/the-lost-people-part-ii/

Further Information:
Paul Griepentrog Phone: 715.762.1875  Email: skfarms@centurytel.net

Paul Griepentrog, Wisconsin farmer and Vice-President of Wisconsin Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (www.WICFA.org), filed an amicus brief on Miller’s behalf and attended the trial.

We will continue to post updates.

Yours for freedom,
Deborah Stockton, Executive Director
National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (NICFA)
nicfa@earthlink.net
www.NICFA.org

National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association
Our purpose is to promote and preserve unregulated direct farmer-to-consumer trade
that fosters availability of locally grown or home-produced food products..
NICFA opposes any government funded or managed National Animal Identification System.

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Wyoming withdraws from NAIS

Livestock Board returns $140,000.00 in federal funds

Cheyenne — Wyoming

Livestock Board members, meeting in Cheyenne Aug. 21, voted to abandon their agreement to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in implementing its National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

According to agency director Jim Schwartz, the agreement amounted to $140,000 in grant money.

Schwartz says the decision by the board resulted in the agency’s lost ability to utilize those funds in developing what some had hoped would be a state-level program.

“I had signed the contract,” says Schwartz, “but hadn’t spent anything.” It’s now a matter of sending the money back. Asked if other states are taking similar measures, he says most see this year’s disbursement as the last they’ll be offered and aren’t refusing the funds. Congress, citing expenditures surpassing adequate progress, is amidst debates on the future of NAIS funding. If funding continues, it will likely be at a much-reduced rate. Many believe the whole animal ID issue is dead.

Gillette rancher and veterinarian Eric Barlow brought the resolution to reject the NAIS agreement. “After reviewing the work document which outlined what we would do with the money,” says Barlow, “it did not appear to me to be building on a national program or being used to establish or fortify any program the WLSB has implemented.”

Barlow says that some members expressed hope the funds could be used in advancing the agency’s computerization efforts. “Maybe we could have, if that’s what we would have asked for,” says Barlow. “Either someone didn’t ask for that or USDA rejected it.” Barlow says the way he read the plan of work the money would have been used to register premises, educate producers on NAIS and hire staff for a six-month period for the purpose of doing those things.

Brent Larson of Laramie and Liz Philp of Shoshoni, sheep producer representatives on the board, were the two dissenting votes to the resolution.

Larson says while he doesn’t support NAIS, he did see the opportunity to use the dollars to advance Wyoming’s programs. He wanted the agency to seek amendments to its agreement with the USDA on how the dollars would have been spent.

“I thought we could make it work for us,” says; Larson. “Why not rework the plan and use the; $140,000 to build something that would work for Wyoming?” Something that would be worthwhile?

Without the $140,000 grant the Wyoming NAIS Director’s employment would possibly not be funded.

Appreciating the need to preserve the market-ability of Wyoming livestock, Barlow says he suggested that staff form a working group, including; industry representatives, to look at existing programs and how they can serve as the underpinning of a Wyoming-based program.

Larson, given the $800,000 in budget cuts the agency took earlier this year, isn’t sure where the money for a state-level program will come from. It would have been good to keep the USDA grant if it had true value to help Wyoming livestock producers. The board voted to give it all back due to too many negative strings attached.

Quotes provided by Jennifer Womack, managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to roundup@wylr.com.

Note: WYOMING REFUSES TO BE BOUGHT! Congratulations to Wyoming!! NAIS has provided generous funding for USDA offices in every state with minimal oversight in regard to premises enrollment.

States joining Wyoming have received the following “grant” funds not including 2009 funding: Colorado $4,896,995; Idaho $4,242,645; Kansas $3,882,270; Montana $2,110,256; Nebraska $3,749,005; South Dakota $3,155,907.

Although Wyoming has repented of their latest “grant,” funds, their hands are not totally clean. During 2002 to 2008 they have deposited from USDA a total of $2,054,538.

Pledging to enroll producers in the NAIS program, the Wyoming effort was costing $1,119 per premise sign up. However, if Wyoming did a good job, USDA projected future funding would allow them to harvest another $7,151,717 additional.

Wyoming is to be honored by their own livestock producers and other states for setting the example of refusing NAIS demands. The strings attached by USDA appeared to be hanging nooses to ranchers in Wyoming, and many others agree.

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Super Human Radio: Stoping HR 2749 the Fake Food Safety Bill.

As you may know the US government is trying to pass a law, HR2749, which is about imposing totalitarian control on the food supply (such as mandating GMO-food) and restricting anything natural or healthy, such as access to supplements or even any natural food. Our health and very lives and the lives of our children depend on this being stopped. This is not an exaggeration. Our food supply will be placed in the hands of large factory farms and conglomerates like Monsanto who’s only objective is profits.

This is nothing short of a full out assault on independent and family owned agricultural producers to end competition to corporate producers. Within the verbiage is language that would once and for all codify Codex Alimentarius into U.S. law. This will restrict access to all supplements currently available over-the-counter. In Europe, CODEX has restricted the availability of such OTC products as Glucosamine and Selenium and now people are required to obtain a prescription to obtain these supplements. In fact, Vitamin C will no longer be available in anything larger than a 60 Mg tablet under CODEX!!
If you would like to take an in-depth look at what HR2749 will do to our food supply while handing it over to companies like Monsanto, read this entry in the Food Freedom Newsletter “Why HR2749 Is No Good For Us“.
Every American needs to know about this, and how they can help create real change. Email your friends, family, coworkers… everyone. Tell them their ’s and the health and lives of their children are at stake.
I have established a simple and effective way to let your opinion be known. Emails and snail mail don’t work because emails can be deleted and snail mail is shredded. BUT a fax must be read, cataloged, filed and saved FOR YEARS! I have set up a way for you to fax your State Representative or Senator in sixty seconds or less. Everything you need is on one page. You can locate your Representative and his or her fax number. I have had political activist Marti Oakley write a form letter so you can simply copy it and add your personal information. AND YOU CAN FAX THE MESSAGE RIGHT FROM MY SITE FOR FREE!
Please take action NOW. Take one minute out of your day and go to http://www.superhumanradio.com/core/2749.htm and send a fax to your State Representatives and Senators telling them that you do not want HR2749 to be voted in as Law. And copy and paste this email and pass it to everyone you know. We must act now before our God given rights to healthy natural food and supplements are sold to the large corporate monsters who put their profits far above our health and longevity.
Live Stronger, Live Longer,.
Carl Lanore
Super Human Radio
Follow Me On Twitter http://www.twitter.com/triceptor

Super Human Radio, 2528 Glen Eagle Dr, Louisville, KY 40222, USA

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Ding Dong NAIS IS (not) Dead! How “Market Forces” Will Bring Local Producers Into Full Compliance

Re-posted from The Complete Patient

DateTuesday, September 1, 2009 at 11:31PM

I’ve been reading reports that the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is in trouble. Its funding from Congress has been cut. The listening sessions around the country sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture were nearly unanimous in opposition. Is there truth to such conjecture?

Doreen Hannes, a Missouri farmer, has been an outspoken critic of NAIS for several years. She attended an agriculture conference last weekend that provided hints about the future of the program that envisions RFID tags being attached to each of hundreds of millions of farm animals across the country. The report makes for fascinating reading. Unfortunately, it isn’t encouraging.

by Doreen Hannes

How will the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) finally come to fruition?

I gleaned some answers to that tantalizing question this past weekend, when I had the dubious pleasure of speaking at the National Institute for Animal Agriculture ID Expo (the NGO pusher of NAIS) in Kansas City, Missouri, as the small producers representative on a panel, “Opportunities for Animal Identification.”

Having been to two other NIAA ID Expos, the most glaring change was the attendance being way down. As a staunch opponent of NAIS and one who has been working full time to stop it for years now, I found this a very pleasing sign.

I was allowed to speak on the condition that I not speak about NAIS. With the help of the question-and-answer segment of the panel discussion, I was able to say nearly all I wanted about NAIS based on my being a representative of small producers engaged in direct sales. I differentiated the philosophies and operations of small growers from those of industrialized ag, and drew the distinction between agribusiness and agriculture, explaining that we are not interested in the corporate agribusiness model.

What I gleaned from this panel, and other information coming from the NIAA ID Expo, is that NAIS may look dead, but really isn’t.  As in any good horror movie, the monster has super-psycho strength and, just when it seems to be defeated, it rises up and attacks again.

Remember, NAIS began as the National Food Animal Identification Plan, then became the United States Animal Identification Plan, and finally the National Animal Identification System. It will not continue to be called NAIS, but instead dubbed ‘animal identification’, as part of ‘food safety’, ‘social responsibility’ and ‘farm to fork’ initiatives.

The hammers for enforcement will be big ones and constrain small producers’ ability to market and sell their products– attached to indemnity payments, subsidies, conservation programs and access to movement certificates, or health papers.

In other words, “market forces” will force compliance on those who wish to stay out of this onerous system. There will still be ‘premises id’, but it may be changed to ‘unique location identifier.’  There will still be electronic and group ID consisting of 15-character numbers, but it won’t be to ‘NAIS’ standards, (ahem), and there will still be tracking, but it will be referenced as the ‘historical pedigree’ or some similar nonsense. It won’t be called NAIS anymore, but it will be NAIS by a different name. Be prepared for a chorus from the disinformationalists proclaiming the death of the dreaded NAIS. A little twist on what Mark Twain said is appropriate, “Rumors of NAIS’ death have been greatly exaggerated”.

Those who wish to keep NAIS at bay must realize that all of the food safety bills in Congress, and particularly HR 2749, which passed the House by an overwhelming margin, will codify ‘international standards’ under obligations to ‘international agreements’, and that means NAIS for everything. It will do nothing to improve food safety and everything to put the kabosh on the fastest growing segment of agriculture, the local food movement. We must assail the Senate and the House with the message that real food safety lies in decentralized, unconsolidated and diverse food production and distribution.

As I told the attendees of the NIAA ID Expo, “There are two kinds of people, those who want to be left alone and those who won’t leave them alone. Small producers and their customers definitely want to be left alone.”

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In Washington, Aren’t All Things Politics, Even NAIS?

Written by: Chuck JolleyCattle Network

Even if the gentle folk at the USDA can’t see the handwriting on the wall, the more politically astute in the House and Senate are quite capable of reading the bright red neon signage. First, Rosa DeLauro, chair of the House Ag appropriations sub committee, cut NAIS funding back to a chilly absolute zero.

The Senate originally proposed a paltry $14. 6 million — nothing more than a rounding error in the big bucks often tossed around inside the beltway – but Senators Jon Tester (D- MT) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) joined hands across the aisle and offered an amendment that slashed that number by half. If passed, NAIS funding would become an almost insignificant piece of the $23. 6 billion agricultural spending bill proposed for fiscal 2010.

Their amendment also limited use of those meager millions, slapping some serious handcuffs on Ag Secretary Vilsack’s failed effort to gain any industry support during his early summer cross-country listening sessions. Their reasoning?Congress had spent $140 million on the program and “gotten next to nothing.”

R-CALF and the Western Organization of Resource Councils, groups representing the rabidly anti-NAIS grassroots livestock producers, stood as one and applauded the Senate action. A standing ‘O. ‘Hurrah’s from the hinterland. WORC would have broken out the proverbial six pack for a party with their R-CALF friends just down the street in Billings, MT. They’ll keep the Bud on ice until the Senate agrees with DeLauro and zeroes out all funding, though, before dancing on the patio down at Tiny’s Tavern,

WORC’s Dan Teigan thanked Senators Tester and Enzi, for “taking the lead against this expensive, intrusive, and unworkable program. The conference committee should zero out all funding for the animal identification program. You don’t just want to slow down a runaway train. You want to stop it.”

R-CALF USA President Mad Max Thornsberry issued a surprisingly calm statement. “NAIS epitomizes what government should not do: it should not impose costly and highly intrusive regulatory burdens on private industry and private citizens without first considering alternatives, without first establishing a critical public need, and without first determining the effect that a significant government mandate would have on the culture and economy of the U. S. livestock industry.”

Teigan need not worry about that runaway train. The House and Senate just tore up the tracks. Doc Thornsberry can rest assured he’s helped defend the culture and economy of the U. S. Livestock industry. The actions of the House and Senate are a survival technique learned by most politicians; when attending a listening session, just shut up and listen. Those are voters doing the talking.

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.

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