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S.510: Your government welcomes you to the new “nationalized agriculture” system!

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Marti Oakley w/ Paul Griepentrog  (c)copyright 2010

A glimpse into the near future!_______________________________________________________

Welcome to nationalized, government owned and operated farming and ranching!

This is the new government run farming and ranching. Everything will have to be done to meet criteria yet to be determined. The new dictatorial agency headed by the “secretary”, will now be able to designate high risk foods,(based solely on a reasonable belief, even if unfounded) and the subsequent products of these yet to be written (or admitted) criteria,  as grounds to require registration of your farm or ranch as a facility.  More

Manipulating Mankind

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Reprinted with permission of the author

by John Munsell | Aug 10, 2010

 “There is something fascinating about science.  One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”  — Mark Twain

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If only Mark Twain were alive today, he would have a field day commenting on what the U.S. Department of Agriculture considers to be “scientific”.  

Subsequent to the Jack In The Box E. coli outbreak in 1993, USDA desperately and hurriedly implemented the current Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) protocol of deregulated meat inspection.  HACCP was originally invented by Pillsbury, focused on the production of consistently safe food for NASA and the Army.  Pillsbury’s HACCP required “Kill Steps” during food production, meaning that the food had to be subjected to a kill step such as fully cooking or irradiation, effectively killing all pathogens.  Pillsbury’s HACCP system was truly based in science, and creates safe food.

USDA intentionally changed the Pillsbury protocol, but of course, retained the right to classify its HACCP imposter as allegedly being “science-based”.  USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) demands that all federally inspected plants implement USDA-style HACCP.  Thus, FSIS requires that HACCP be used for all raw meat and poultry, which by definition does not utilize kill steps, but still qualifies for USDA-style HACCP. More

TRACEBACK HEARING – FSIS – WDC 3-10-10 JOHN MUNSELL COMMENTS

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TRACEBACK HEARING – FSIS – WDC 3-10-10

JOHN MUNSELL COMMENTS

(Initially, I gave a spontaneous comment that the agency’s willingness to hold this public hearing constituted a remarkable improvement in FSIS attitude towards tracebacks to the source)

My formal comments were as follows:

I’ve found it ironic the last two years that FDA, in spite of having inspectors in plants as infrequently as once every 5 – 6 years, has successfully traced outbreaks back to spinach farms, pepper farms, melamine in China, peanut butter, etc.

In stark contrast, although FSIS has inspectors in every plant every day, the agency typically fails to trace enteric pathogens back to the slaughterhouse of origin. More

TRACEABILITY and government agencies

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from FOOD SAFETY NEWS DISCUSSION
by John Munsell ~~ 12-30-09

www.naisSTINKS.org


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 trace-back 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. More

Happy Thanksgiving: The farce in the food safety bills.

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  by:  Paul Griepentrog  All rights reserved  Tell a Friend 

While we head into this Thanksgiving holiday we can all rest assured that the FDA and USDA have done their best to insure no one will get sick from the feast.  Of course we can be even more thankful that the US Senate is going to further the powers of these agencies to make our meal times even more secured.   These agencies are paid to insure our safety across a wide range of products.  They have done a fine job of that, with recalls going back several years and across a number of products.  Can we not, from the use of  failed self determining HACCP plans written by the companies themselves, along with the lack of authority of inspectors to close plants conclude that these agencies are then a failure in and of themselves and at the very root of the problem.

  Is it not possible that the situation now is worse than it was at the inception of these organizations?  In the writing of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” we are shown a world run for the benefit of large companies, by exploiting labor, bribing officials, and more.  Today we are not appreciably different, only now multinational corporations buy their way through government with lobbyists, international trade agreements and the government agencies which utilize the scare tactics of contaminated food to further their empire building. More

NAIS: Expensive, Intrusive, Unworkable

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You can go directly to the www.nonais.org site just by clicking the link in our blogroll or, www.naisSTINKS.org for related articles and information.

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On April 15, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack held a roundtable discussion on the controversial National Animal Identification System (NAIS). He had invited 29 organizations, and I had the opportunity to represent the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC).

Secretary Vilsack opened by explaining that he was getting pressure from Congress, which is considering, apparently, cutting off the funding for NAIS unless the livestock industry works out a consensus to have better voluntary participation. I probably was not the only one in the room wondering: “And this is a bad thing?” He went on to mention that NAIS is becoming a requirement for international trade since all of our major competitors have NAIS type traceability systems.

I challenged this international market requirement, pointing out that last fall, when I delivered my calves, the buyer wanted source and age identification, which I gladly and easily provided. For the relatively small percentage of beef that we export, compared to our domestic market, a private system between buyers and sellers can work very well. Besides, I pointed out that country-of-origin labeling (COOL) is a marketing program and USDA had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table. So why is USDA so obsessed with NAIS?

If NAIS is not a marketing program, what is it? Some people seem to think that it has something to do with food safety, which is pure nonsense. In the mid 1990’s USDA replaced meat inspectors with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point system (HACCP). In doing so, they did us a great disservice – HACCP – USDA’s gift that keeps on giving salmonella. If people are serious about food safety, then rescind HACCP.

USDA does not have a good record on homeland security either, which is the third rational advanced for NAIS. It was USDA that let bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and tuberculosis (TB) into the country. Homeland security comes from adequate inspections and controls on our borders, not by burdening producers in the heartland with an expensive, intrusive, and cumbersome animal ID system.

Finally, is NAIS a disease control system? It probably could be in some specific circumstances, and the American Veterinary Medical Association certainly thinks it is the answer to all problems. Their statement was by far most in favor of NAIS.

Many of the other attendees were on both sides of the fence. NCBA seemed to say that they opposed NAIS as long as it was a government controlled program, leaving the impression that if NCBA were to run it, they would be happily in favor of a mandatory program. In contrast, R-CALF and U.S. Cattlemen, along with WORC, were clear about their opposition to a mandatory program. The Public Lands Council also opposed it on the grounds that Premise ID in the West, where we have livestock going every which way for summer pasture, NAIS compliance would be very complicated. The American Sheep Growers also opposed, pointing out that the scrapie tag system was working very well as it is.

I think that we were pretty effective in pointing out that this country had controlled many diseases without NAIS. After all, in Montana, we have had an animal ID system – brands– in place for 125 years. I pointedly reminded Secretary Vilsack that USDA has not demonstrated to the western ranchers that NAIS adds value to what we have been doing all along.

I further pointed out that USDA does not have much credibility out West. Given its record with COOL, meat inspection, BSE, TB, and lack of enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act, there was very little reason to trust USDA over this NAIS program.

I also reminded Secretary Vilsack that WORC had sent him a letter on April 8th with a long list of questions about NAIS and how it would function. A timely response to that letter would be very beneficial and would clarify a lot, not only for the affected livestock owners, but also for USDA because the department does not seem that to have really thought this through.

After listening to the other groups represented (poultry, pork, horses, milk, elk, bison, monopoly packers, producers of natural foods, stockyards, etc.), it is clear that there is a complex mixture of needs and concerns. Something like NAIS might make sense for some species, some industry segments, and some states that do not have brand laws. However, I remain convinced that a single, overarching national system is too expensive, too intrusive, and unworkable.


Gilles Stockton is a rancher from Grass Range, Mont., member of WORC’s Livestock Committee, and an international consultant on livestock production and marketing.

Kevin Dowling
Communications Director
WORC
220 S. 27th Street, Suite B
Billings, MT 59101
406-252-9672
http://www.worc.org

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