Living within twenty miles of (D) Colin Peterson’s home office, and living in the middle of dairy herds and cornfields, I find it startling to believe anyone from the great State of Minnesota would not only be pushing the NAIS (National Animal Identification System) but was actually the sponsor of one of the first bills in 2005 attempting to implement this devastating encumbrance of farming and ranch operations. 

 

Known as the ‘‘National Farm Animal Identification and Records Act,’’ this bill would have required the establishment of an electronic nationwide livestock identification system within 90 days of enactment.

 

“The livestock identification system shall be capable of tracing, within 48 hours, livestock from birth to slaughter. The bill also prevents the unauthorized release of information collected under the system and promotes an objective review of U.S. Department of Agriculture responses to livestock disease outbreaks.”

H.R. 1254, introduced March 10, 2005 never became law. 

 

Don’t think that stopped Peterson!  He attempted to insert NAIS mandates and funding into the 2008 Farm Bill and is currently working to make NAIS mandatory even as the backlash from farmers and ranchers and the public at large has continued to grow.  As the actual conditions and enforcements of NAIS are exposed, not to mention the incredible costs associated with it while US food producers labor under economic instability, Peterson continues to push for the industrialization of farming and ranching, apparently believing his own rhetoric about how this invasive and destructive system is somehow going to make the food supply safe from unknown or possible threats that were eliminated generations ago, or don’t really exist. 

 

The recent activities of both the USDA and FDA would indicate surveillance and raids on independent farms and ranches which are neither objective nor in the interest of protecting the public, have exposed the fallacy of concerns about disease.  And no one has bothered to even speak about who or what is going to protect US farmers and ranchers from the Gestapo tactics of these agencies, both of which are grossly corrupted and neither of which can function efficiently enough to fulfill their stated primary missions.

 

As Peterson knows all too well, NAIS is NOT about food safety or tracking disease in herds.  It is simply a tool designed to make independent ranching and farming so cost prohibitive, so bogged down with oppressive and restrictive regulations, it will drive family farms out of business and prevent future generations of farmers and ranchers from getting into the business. 

 

Representative Peterson never mentions the sweeping provisions in NAIS that work to protect industrialized corporate producers from bearing anything but marginal costs associated with NAIS, and provide numerous loopholes allowing them to escape the most invasive and controlling aspects of this insidious program.

 

In all of the travels Rep. Peterson has done, I suppose at state expense, he seldom if ever mentions the data collection of current personal and identifiable information being compiled by the federal and state governments.  He speaks about Premises ID as if it is some innocuous little nuisance, but never mentions that all of the premises information is carefully collected, catalogued and stored.  But don’t think you can even use a FOIA request to find out just what and how much information the government has assembled on your operation.  You can’t. And here’s why:

 

All of the databases containing all the information collected about you, your farm or ranch, the animals you have, your exact GPS location, have been moved to Canada and stored in the Oracle database program.   The server for Oracle is located in San Antonio Texas, I suppose to mislead people into thinking their records are stored here in the US also.

 

Off American soil and in the hands of another government, the information gathered about you is now accessible by bio-pirates, foreign entities and anyone who cares to pay to know,  who need this info to decide how most efficiently to drive you out of business;  So much for the unauthorized release of information.  

 

Although Peterson’s website wisely makes absolutely no mention of his NAIS promotion or advocacy, (unless he changes it today in the next five minutes) it appears Peterson has been an ambassador very busy traveling and speaking and trying to convince farmers and ranchers that NAIS is a good deal.  It isn’t; and Peterson’s gut tells him this.

 

Known as the “invisible man” around these parts, Peterson is never available, seldom locatable and when he does make those rare public appearances it is with shills planted in the audience complete with planted questions and canned answers. 

 

This just begs the question, “Who is Colin Peterson really representing?”

 

To be sure, I wouldn’t know.  What I do know along with numerous farmers, ranchers and consumers here in Minnesota, it sure isn’t us. 

 

© 2009 Marti Oakley

 

 

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