Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Agribusiness's Stealth Takeover

... Despite the far-reaching implications of the bill, it was brought to the House floor without a committee hearing, which would have allowed lawmakers to hear testimony from proponents and opponents of the bill from industry, government and advocacy groups.*

Don't be lulled into thinking this was a sudden desire to cut down on regulations and paperwork as Congress has another law in the pipeline that smells like an industrial hogfarm. Congress will surely try to sneak the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) although some small producers refer to it as NAzIS, through as quietly as they shoved the lood labeling down our gullets.

Here’s the scenario: People in Sheboygan get sick from something they ate. It’s determined the meat came from a local fast food joint. That fast food joint gets its meat from ABC cow factory. ABC cow factory buys cows from XYZ feedlots. Those feedlots had cows numbered 1q10 through 1q500 in their possession and those cows came from 15 small farms in suburban Tempe. Goodbye 15 small farms in suburban Tempe. Hello scapegoat for fast food joint, slaughterhouse, and feedlots. To protect themselves these large corporations will effectively to put small farmers out of business. Not only the program costs (which fall on the farmer), but also the threat of fines and jail time for not complying will drive small farmers off the land. At the same time, NAIS sets up the same corporations as the only entities granted the ‘privilege’ to raise animals, since they, of course are the only ones who can be trusted to follow such a plan to protect the “national herd.” EXEMPTIONS? But I’ve just got a few chickens and a horse. Not me, right? Wrong. The NAIS plans provide no exemptions whatever. One chicken, one horse, one cow, one sheep, one goat, one bison, one llama, one alpaca, one turkey, one duck -- all must register, premises & animals. GOODBYE PROPERTY RIGHTS The NAIS abolishes private property rights in farms and in animals. The NAIS, run by a branch of the USDA, considers “your” animals to be not yours, but part of “the national herd.”

Complaints and protests against it will likely be illegal so shut up or else.

Blog roundup on NAIS

*from Seeing the Forest

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