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S. 510 and Codex Alimentarius Link: Tracking, Tracing, and Monitoring Independent Food Production

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December 04-10 

Brandon Turbeville

Live Link: Activist Post

“If Grandma wants to sell her famous raspberry jam at the county fair (within 275 miles of her canning kitchen) she will indeed be a small producer exemptions, but not before she forks over 3 years of financials, documentation of hazard control plans, and local licenses, permits, and inspection reports. She must submit this documentation to the satisfactory approval of the Secretary; and if she fails to do so, the entirety of S.510 can be enforced on her. That’s hardly what I call an exemption.” More

Not NAIS: USDA issues new Animal Traceability Framework

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February 16th, 2010 | Author: Amanda

The federal animal-tracking program NAIS would have been a disaster for small-scale farmers and homesteaders; the grassroots No-NAIS movement turned it into a PR nightmare for the USDA. Last week, Ag Sec’y Tom Vilsack proposed a new, more flexible program. Read on for details.

A NAIS history lesson

Way back in the day, some people at USDA dreamed up NAIS — a National Animal Identification System. While the intention — track disease, protect farms with good practices and hold others accountable– may have been noble, NAIS was the farming equivalent of “using a hatchet where you need a scalpel” (as a certain President might put it). NAIS would have required farmers, homesteaders and even pet owners to register their animals with the government, tag them, track and report their movements (across state borders, not around the farm), and submit yearly paperwork and fees. More

Candian livestock producers successfully lured into NAIS and RFID

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It would appear that Canadian Cattle producers have been successfully led into the trap of RFID tagging for their livestock.  Using the same phony PR used by the USDA here in the states, a corporation which is also quite active in Canadian agriculture, NAIS is alive and well and headed our way.  And you thought this dog was run out!

Marti__________________________________________

 
© 2010 Business Information Group.
A member of the esourceNetwork

Farm Business Communications,  5/29/2010


Bar-coded cattle ID tags de-listed July 1

By Staff

Any bar-coded dangle tags still hanging from Canadian cattle’s ears will officially become plastic jewelry effective July 1.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which was previously expected to de-list bar code tags as of Jan. 1, 2010, said Friday that the bar code tags will be de-listed July 1 in favour of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.

Starting July 1, all cattle must be tagged with approved RFID tags before they move from their current locations or leave their farms of origin.

“Although this change may be an additional one- time process for some producers, the ability to easily capture information from the RFID tags will help all producers in the long run,” said Darcy Eddleston, a Paradise Valley, Alta. producer and chairman of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA), in a joint CFIA/CCIA release.

“We have worked with government to move forward on traceability and we believe that de- listing the bar-coded tag will advance traceability initiatives.” More

RFID Bling For Bovines – Just In Time For The New Year

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by: Lynn Swearingen (c) copyright 2009

Just when you thought you’d heard it all, something comes along that makes you say “Hm. I just wonder”.

While surfing around the UHF-RFID livestock world, I came across a new and snazzy tag. Trust me folks – you want to pass on this one.

While a cutie-wootie-slick-forward-looking tag can be an extra bonus in selling (riigghhtt) – this one has the stink of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) plastered all over it. Why would one think that? Here we go (links are provided at conclusion for ease of  review):

USDA approves eTattoo from Eriginate as First Official UHF Identification Device (1) That headline should cause one to wonder and the opening comment begs for investigation:

“Eriginate Corporation announced today the approval of its eTattoo tag by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The approval marks the first ultra-high radio frequency identification tag (UHF RFID) and the first non-low frequency tag (LF) to be approved for use with the “840” Animal Identification Number (AIN)”

Just whom is on the board of this  “Eriginate”? (2)

Why surprise surprise the Director is one Mr. Doran Junek. As his bio (3) clearly states, he has all the bells and whistles required to position this firm for the first “approved” eTattoo:

Lobbying responsibilities – check
Member of the Bovine Species Working Group for NAIS – check
Affiliation (past or present?) with Cargill – Check
“Key industry Contacts” – Check

…but that’s just my opinion.

Of course as “Advisors” (4) go, the most interesting could be Gerardo Flores of famed NASA affiliation. Nah. While his specialty could ensure that once we go “solar system wide” the critters could be properly traced, that’s a few years in the future, so lets see….here’s an interesting character. More

HR 2749 Authorizes International Take-Over of Domestic Food Production

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Welcome to the Global Plantation
HR 2749 Authorizes International Take-Over of Domestic Food Production

© Doreen Hannes 2009

HR 2749 AUTHORIZES NAIS and OTHER INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS
Congressional staffers have been telling people that HR 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, does not authorize the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Many organic groups have agreed with them. However, this is misleading. Though HR 2749 does not name “the” National Animal Identification System, it still authorizes the program. It also does not state that it legally authorizes Good Agricultural Practices, or GAP, partially comprising Codex guidelines on traceability and food safety, and the OIE’s Guide to Good Farming Practices including auditing, certification and inspections, disincentives for not participating in the form of fines, penalties, and loss of access to market, but it does. Is it possible that Congress was not aware of what it voted on?  The bill was changed three times in a 24-hour period before passing the House 283-142 on July 30, 2009.

Are these assertions about HR 2749 wild and unsubstantiated? Proving them is fairly easy—just understand “Good Agricultural Practices” (GAP), how the agencies of the World Trade Organization operate within member countries to achieve them and what comprises the actual jurisdiction of the FDA and USDA. A brief explanation follows, along with substantiating quotes from HR 2749.

 First we look to jurisdiction in HR2749….

“Nothing in this Act or any amendment made by this Act shall be construed to alter the jurisdiction between the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, under applicable statutes and regulations…” (p.3&4)

Then, tossing our preconceived notions to the wind and looking to law instead, we find that congressional testimony of the FDA on establishing a single food safety agency and a myriad of other sources including the FAO (Food and Ag Organization of the UN), the FDA statements on the Bioterrorism Act of 2002, and many books on food law affirm that FDA has jurisdiction over live food animals:

FDA is the Federal agency that regulates 80 percent of the nation’s food supply-everything we eat except for meat, poultry, and certain egg products, which are regulated by our partners at USDA. FDA’s responsibility extends to live food animals…”(Cfans Director, March 2004 Congressional hearing) More

Why Farmers Aren’t Buying Into the “Sky Is Falling” Hype About NAIS, and Other “Traceability”– Initiatives

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 www.nonais.org

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 09:31PM

As long as we’re discussing our fear-based culture, I should mention the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

A dairy farmer wrote recently to gently remind me I hadn’t written much of late about NAIS, and to urge me to do so because it’s back in the news. I was so preoccupied over the last ten months or so with writing and researching my book about the politics of raw milk (due to be published next fall) that I have neglected to provide updates on NAIS. Over that time period, we’ve had an election and a new administration take office.

So when I went to update myself on what’s happening, I found that, despite all the political shuffling, the government and agriculture trade group rhetoric on NAIS hasn’t changed a bit. The most notable additional development may be a worldwide effort to broaden animal tracking to include “traceability” of all food ingredients back to their producers.

On the NAIS front, the latest wrinkle is a series of U.S. Department of Agriculture “listening sessions” around the country about NAIS. In announcing the sessions, the secretary of agriculture was quoted as suggesting NAIS is inevitable: “USDA needs to hear directly from our stakeholders as we work together to create an animal disease traceability program we can all support,” Tom Vilsack.

Ready to fan the fear flames are organizations like the American Veterinary Medical Association. One of its top officials told a Congressional committee, “The U.S. cannot afford to wait for a crisis to make a mandatory animal identification system a reality.”

Amidst all the rhetoric, the most revealing facts about NAIS may be that the USDA has been attempting to sign up farms and other production facilities for five years now, and over that time span, has succeeded only in attracting about one-third of all facilities. For all the chicken-little rhetoric, farmers seem to appreciate better than the general population that NAIS is just another outgrowth of our culture of fear.

Since the program has been billed as “voluntary,” the one thing that can doom the entire effort is lack of effective farm participation. (There are many opponents who argue that NAIS becomes less and less “voluntary” as times goes on, and states push ever harder to help USDA achieve its signup goals…which makes the relatively small percentage of registrations all the more remarkable.)

In addition,the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is fighting the USDA in federal court, but it will likely be many months, and possibly years, until its case is resolved.

It’s important to understand that NAIS and similar animal tracking programs in other countries aren’t isolated phenomena. They are part of a larger worldwide effort to trace ALL foods, including fruits and veggies, back to their producers. As part of that effort, technology companies with all kinds of new bar codes and other tracking devices are springing up, with backing from government agencies around the world.

It may be too late to keep all these new bureaucratic efforts from establishing deep roots. But defeating NAIS would send a strong message that small farms in particular don’t need more layers of bureaucracy to encourage them to produce safe foods.

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