Daily Archives: April 16, 2009

“Just say NO to NAIS” — Vilsack told by U.S. Consumer and Farmer Association

Here’s a story by Liz Reitzig, posted April 15th, 2009 from OpEdNews:

“Statement from the National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association regarding NAIS, for the meeting with US Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack, Washington DC, 15 April, 2009
My name is Liz Reitzig and I am Secretary of the National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (NICFA).

The people have spoken.

Let's just hope legislators realize that they need to listen to their constituents rather than to their financiers.

The USDA claims that the Animal Health Protection Act of 2002 (AHPA) authorizes it to implement a National Animal Identification System (NAIS).  However, nowhere in the AHPA is the USDA authorized to assign a federal, permanent 7-character number to private land. Neither is it authorized to require application to any animal of an ‘840’ prefix tag indicating the animal is US born, and it is not authorized to require RFID devices, like implantable microchips, or RFID tags, on a privately owned animal. Further, the AHPA does not authorize the USDA to require reporting movements, vet visits, or any of the 23 ‘reportable’ events listed in NAIS documents. The AHPA authorizes the USDA to track shipments of animals that have been imported. Any assertion beyond that is an extrapolation by the USDA. Continue reading


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Campylobacter at Colorado raw dairy; Food Network airs raw milk TV show

Here is an excerpt from the latest post on David E. Gumpert’s “The Complete Patient” blog, one of the world’s foremost sources of raw milk news. The curious thing is that “The Complete Patient” doesn’t show up much on my Google alerts for raw milk in spite of the fact that David is always writing about it. I wonder if this is something like Amazon’s recent — and supposedly accidental — delisting of a whole slew of gay and lesbian titles. 

“There have been a couple of very interesting glimpses into the real world of suspected pathogens and regulation around raw milk this weekend.

First and foremost, there is Scott Freeman’s disarmingly candid account (on the second page of comments, following my previous post) of what’s happened at his Kinikin Corner Dairy in Colorado (logo pictured above) since he began learning about possible campylobacter illnesses from among his shareholders. Before I say anything else, I want to thank Scott for sharing his experience. He’s dealing with a huge amount of stress and uncertainty right now—the Colorado Health Department’s lab analysis of his milk hasn’t yet come back—yet he took time to share with us. He could have shut down his phones and gone radio silent, but he didn’t. Very brave.

Big picture, what I get from his account is both the huge amount of responsibility Scott feels and his determination to do the right thing. He’s not defensive, nor is he locked into a particular ideological approach.

Three other things stand out here: Continue reading

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Michael Schmidt’s Glencolton Farms at Total Health and Green Living shows

Yes, once again this year, Glencolton Farms will be represented (mostly by volunteer cowshare members) at booths at Toronto’s two top spring health shows — this weekend’s Total Health  and next weekend’s Green Living show. 

I wonder if Michael will rate a sign like this again this year.

I wonder if Michael will rate a sign like this again this year. Photo by Paul Ciaravella

The sign in the picture above was from last year’s Green Living show, and was apparently the result of a compromise reached within the show’s management between those who felt that Michael Schmidt brought an important dimension of authenticity to the message of the show and those who felt his message and his “product” were too controversial. No one else at the show had a sign like this at their booth. Here’s the story from Paul Ciaravella who helped organize Glencolton’s participation in these shows: Continue reading

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One simple step to serfdom — sign over your farm to NAIS with Premises I.D.

Here’s a penetrating analysis of America’s National Animal Identification System by Doreen Hannes of the Truth Farmer blog:

Premises ID promo piece from a Minnesota state website

Premises ID promo piece from a Minnesota state website

“::What’s the premise behind Premise Identification in the NAIS::

All you have to do is register your property with the USDA under the National Animal Identification System. You’ll be assigned a seven-character number that stays with the property forever and the USDA “owns” that number according to ” A User Guide” which is their latest public document on the program.

The premise id number or PIN will set you solidly in the position of giving up your rights to ownership. How can I say that? Well, words have meaning for a reason. The USDA, in their original documents regarding NAIS, refers to participants as “stakeholders” repeatedly, twenty one times in the Draft Strategic Plan alone. They also use the term “national herd” and tell us that NAIS is necessary to protect the health and marketability of the “national herd”. First let’s look at the PIN and then at animal identification with official NAIS compliant tags.

The USDA claims to “own” the PIN (page6 A User Guide) and when one is assigned a PIN either through truly volunteering for it or being rolled into it via other disease control programs, it stays with the property forever (Draft Program Standards pg 16-read the whole section on PIN) and the person who owns the property becomes a stakeholder. The definition of stakeholder is as follows: Continue reading

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Prize herd of 567 dairy cattle destroyed in Britain under EU rules for alleged “cattle passport” irregularities — is that what NAIS will look like in the U.S.?

This story is from Christopher Booker’s notebook on the Telegraph UK website. Here’s an excerpt:


Of all the stories I have covered about what is now called the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, few have been more remarkable than the disaster that has just befallen David Dobbin, a 43-year-old Cheshire farmer, who derived his entire livelihood from a large dairy herd. His 567 cows, including pedigree Ayrshires and Holsteins, had won prizes, and were worth upwards of £500,0000.

In 2005 Cheshire trading standards officials, acting for Defra (one hopes Cheshire’s taxpayers do not mind officials whose salaries they pay acting for a government department) began a long series of visits, to inspect the documentation required for Mr Dobbin’s cattle under EC rules. The more they attempted to check the animals’ eight-digit ear tags against their EC “cattle passports”, the more they claimed to have found “irregularities”, although they failed to explain how many or what these were.

Last November, on Defra’s instructions, the officials seized all Mr Dobbin’s passports, making it illegal for him to move animals off his farm and all but wiping out his income. Last month, serving him with a “notice to identify”, they removed his herd to another farm, stating that, under EC regulation 494/98, it was their intention to destroy all 567 animals. Continue reading

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