The plan for the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) almost a year ago, calls for the identification and tracking of every farm animal using RFID and GPS technology for the stated purpose of containing diseases like mad cow.
Report Within 24 Hours
It also requires any farm or home that houses a single livestock animal to be registered with governmental agencies, and stipulates that any movement off the registered premises must be reported within 24 hours.
Devastating to Small FarmersMany have complained that the plan requires livestock owners to pay for the identification out-of-pocket, as well as perform time-consuming reporting. This could have the effect of devastating small, local, and organic farmers, who would be unable to afford the costs.
Radio frequency identification technology (RFID) is an amazing technology that eases inventory tracking by companies selling products all over the world. Wal-Mart was the major corporate force to introduce this technology into U.S. business.
Like nearly any technology, RFID can be used for good or evil. Three years ago I wrote how many conservative Christians felt that RFID chips may be the "Mark of the Beast" described in the chapter of Revelations.
This technology can also be used by major corporations to force small farmers out of business. They can use the fear of mad cow disease and other created artificial pandemics like the Great Bird Flu Hoax to legislate this expensive technology on small farmers.
This is particularly tragic as small farmers are one of the primary sources of solid nutrition for enlightened individuals that recognize that. One of my major goals is to eventually help develop a network that would allow consumers in the United States to more easily connect with these amazing sources of pure food.
If this measure is enacted it could -- literally -- nearly overnight wipe out most all the small organic farmers. They simply don't have the financial means and resources to secure these high-tech gadgets and implement the required expensive reporting systems.
The end result will be that large-scale factory farmers raising sick, unhealthy animals on the cheap will be able to afford these measures, while those raising healthy, free-range animals in local farms with more expensive feed and care, and smaller profit margins, will find the additional costs insurmountable.
Folks, this is serious business that will no doubt affect your access to clean and reasonably priced healthy food in the future.
I urge you to review the links below along with the USDA's plan, for right now just a voluntary one, and get your Congressman involved today before it's too late. You can also send comments directly to:
U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Animal & Plant Inspection Service, NAIS Subcommittee, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250.
Other federal officials to contact are:
Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, Saxby Chambliss, Chairman, Room SR-328A, Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510-6000, and also the House Committee on Agriculture, Bob Goodlatte, Chairman, 1301 Longworth House Office Building, Washington DC 20515.
If the measure goes through as planned, it will be mandatory by 2008, and in some states, such as Wisconsin, even earlier than that, so it's important to act now while there's still time left.