N.A.I.S. undead in regulatory limbo?

David Gumpert cautions those who would like to feel optimistic:

Much ado about Animal I.D. -- Front Porch Republic photo

“One of the sad realizations I’ve come to over the last few years in writing about raw milk is that proponents can’t let their guards down in battling with government officials.

Farmers and consumers alike want so badly to believe that public officials are decent, reasonable, and benevolent, and I have no doubt that some are. But if you look at what’s happened in Wisconsin—and it’s not an isolated example—the relationship between the regulators and the people being regulated is totally adversarial.

The regulators are cold, hard-edged battlers who see the people as an enemy, to be beaten into submission. Any pulling back by the people is interpreted as weakness, an opening to be exploited.

Formal and informal understandings are made to be broken.  Farmers in Wisconsin who had worked out arrangements for herdshare agreements some years ago have seen those arrangements arbitrarily ended. The same thing happened in Georgia last October when officials confiscated milk from a buying club after five years of allowing the club to operate. A similar scenario for buying groups is unfolding in Massachusetts.

I raise this point because now we are being told that the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is dead. But is it?

When you read the press release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you have to wonder. It doesn’t say NAIS is dead, or being abandoned. Rather, the first sentence of the announcement states “that USDA will develop a new, flexible framework for animal disease traceability in the United States, and undertake several other actions to further strengthen its disease prevention and response capabilities.”

The release goes on to quote Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as saying: “I’ve decided to revise the prior policy and offer a new approach to animal disease traceability with changes that respond directly to the feedback we heard.”

In fact, nowhere in the release is there any vocabulary approximating such notions as “abandoning” or “discarding” or “pulling back from” or “starting anew” or anything else that might be taken as a recognition that NAIS was a bad joke….”

Get the whole story from David E. Gumpert’s “The Complete Patient” blog.

More on this theme from Chuck Jolley on the Cattle Network: USDA tries mouth to mouth on NAIS

“The Associated Press misreported this morning that “The USDA Abandons Stalled Animal ID Program.” A press release issued last Friday by the USDA hints at another fate.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA will develop a new, flexible framework for animal disease traceability in the United States, and undertake several other actions to further strengthen its disease prevention and response capabilities.

Did you understand that statement? The USDA, after a 15 city listening tour last summer, has decided listening is highly overrated. They seemed to understand, acknowledging hearing “a wide variety of comments during the listening tour.”

A document on USDA web site said, “Some people were in favor of NAIS, but the vast majority of participants were highly critical of the program. Some of the concerns and criticisms raised included confidentiality, liability, cost, privacy, and religion. There were also concerns about NAIS being the wrong priority for USDA, that the system benefits only large-scale producers, and that NAIS is unnecessary because existing animal identification systems are sufficient.”

So they’re trying to re-invent the program, make it more palatable to people who signaled their willingness to stand at the farm gate, armed and dangerous, to prevent any part of a government mandated NAIS from creeping into their business….”

Read that whole story here.

Picture from Front Porch Republic.

1 Comment

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One response to “N.A.I.S. undead in regulatory limbo?

  1. David Gumpert sheds some real light on the matter. It is a terrible feeling to experience when our men and women are abroad doing battle in foreign countries at the order of their President and “our administration” here. And it now feels that we have a battle here in our country amongst ourselves. We know this feeling too; from Martin Luther King and Abe Lincoln or the Civil War. Are these States united? They should be. When a government has thier own good ahead of our children, their children; then something is seriously wrong here. Have you ever experienced the Child protective services or a Division of the Child and Family in and of a State Agency? It is no wonder they call it “DIVISION OF CHILD AND FAMILY. They divide and conquer. People from Eastern Europe did not come here to become Socialistic again. Our land was framed to be a land of freedom and equal opportunity. Same thing. Control and abuse. Yes, this terrible feeling, one of mistrust and fear is here now in our own backyards. Under our own Constitution. It is time to stand strong and not give in. See Glen Beck on The Food & Safety Modernization Act and Mark Levin on Liberty and Tyranny. And it is time to read The Raw Milk Revolution – Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights. There is a good reason why so many people have already seen the film, “Avitar.” Or what about Mel Gibson’s newest film; about corporate corruption. See this one. This is no fantasy. This is real life drama. It is time to get busy. Read also “Fruitless Fall – The Collapse of the Honey Bee and The Coming Agricultural Crisis by Rowan Jacobsen. Make duplicate copies of your computers. They are planning to take them too. This is serious and so must we be. The already have our children on “mood drugs.” we want a glass of milk and peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Is this alright with you Uncle Sam?

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