Monday, May 21, 2007

USDA's NAIS Losing Support

copied from

KSU has a report saying NAIS is losing ground and opponents of NAIS are gaining. What is interesting about this is that the tide has turned even within the producers in the cow-calf industry whom they surveyed. This group was previously some of the most vocal proponents of NAIS. The USDA used to claim that the vast majority of producers wanted NAIS. They were very careful who they surveyed in order to achieve those results. At that time the USDA also claimed that the majority of producers wanted NAIS to be mandatory and that the only way to make it work was to have it be mandatory.

A national survey by Kansas State University indicates that the majority of cow-calf producers neither endorse nor decry implementation of a national animal identification system [NAIS].
-Meating Place

How things have changed. There was such a hew and cry against NAIS among small farmers and homesteaders that the USDA backed down in 2006. They now say there will be no mandatory NAIS at the federal level. Instead they’re attempting to get the states to push it for them to take the heat off of the federal government on this major misstep.

Now they’re even admitting that the majority of producer’s aren’t asking for NAIS. That’s a big change and a positive one for independent farmers and homesteaders. We don’t need the Ninny State looking over our shoulders, tracking what we do and telling us how to manage our livestock.

NAIS is designed to be a huge burden on small farmers by forcing them to tag and track every individual animal while large factory “farms” get to use a single group ID for tens of thousands of animals.

NAIS does nothing to solve the real problems with food safety, virtually all of which happen at factory farms and during processing after the animal leaves the farm.

NAIS doesn’t prevent disease - it just gives the government the ability to track back animal contacts months after the event when they discover a problem in the food chain. NAIS is about the blame game, not about food safety or animal health.

NAIS will raise the costs to consumers by increasing the costs of production for food and eliminating smaller producers who can’t survive the increased government regulations and government imposed costs. This will result in less food choice and again higher prices as fewer and fewer larger and larger corporations control our food supply. Monopolies mean higher prices for consumers. All this on top of the higher prices of oil and the ethanol corn induced jacking up of food prices we’re already seeing.

The USDA may not be obviously pushing for mandatory now but I still object to the government even creating a program like NAIS with our tax dollars. They have already wasted $100,000,000 on a program that will hurt small farmers while almost exclusively benefiting the large exporters and Big Ag. NAIS smells like rotten pork barreling to me - and I know what a dead pig smells like. We need to bury this corpse in the compost under lots of carbon so we can all get back to farming.


ilana said...

Hey... I forgot to tell you. There was a NAIS booth at the Sheep and Wool Fest. I didn't go talk to them, but I was strangely irritated by their presence.

Rachael said...

Oh, how horrible! I would have been irritated too!