The Honorable David Scott
Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture
Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry
1301 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6001
Re: Testimony for March 11, 2009 Hearing on Review of Animal Identification Systems
Dear Chairman Scott and Subcommittee Members:
I am Marti Oakley, a consumer, writing to ask you to reject the USDA’s attempts to make mandatory the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) and, as a companion assault on private property ownership, the Premises ID.
Having witnessed first hand the common contempt displayed by Congress, if not outright disregard, when the public attempts to assert their opinions on pending legislative activity, please know that I will post this letter to you in every possible venue. The American public needs to know what is about to happen to independent farmers and ranches if NAIS is made mandatory, or, if any of the fake ‘food safety’ bills are forced into law. They also need to be made aware of the resulting threat to not only food production, but its subsequent reduction in quality that will result.
Experience has taught me that what may appear to be an innocuous change in wording in reality is a change in legal definition and standing within the law. This is how ‘treaties’ are re-designated as ‘agreements’ to side step Constitutional criteria and protections and allowing illegal implementation of agreements usurping US law.
Our government’s continual capitulation to these non-US laws and standards is creating an untenable system and jeopardizing US agriculture and what has been the most dynamic and well functioning agricultural system in the world.
The language in NAIS referring to landowners and to livestock owners has been changed to facilitate international agreements and standards, most especially Agenda 21 from the United Nations and World Trade Organization demands and the international committees operating under standards and regulations and other misnomers.
All the international agreements, standards, regulations and other instruments being deferred to, relegate the actual owner of the land to ‘operator’ or ‘manager.’ The Premises ID is a coercion of the voluntary abandonment of property to the control of the USDA, acting as agent for the Federal government.
Livestock owners are now referred to as ‘stakeholders,’ implying an interest in, but not the owner of the livestock. As stakeholders, livestock owners would be subject to the rules, actions and intents of the USDA and as ‘stakeholders’ would relinquish any ownership rights.
The final statement by the governments’ witness in the March 11, 2009 hearing contained a referral to livestock owners as ‘stakeholders.’ This was no accidental use of the word.
The US has historically produced the most disease free and well maintained herds in the world. Because the USDA (nor the FDA) has moved to halt the importation of cattle from Mexico, known to be consistently suffering from bovine tuberculosis, the disease is constantly being introduced into the meat processing system and co-mingled with uncontaminated meat from US producers. Wouldn’t the logical move here have been to halt imports of cattle from Mexico until they are able to eradicate bovine tuberculosis? Of course, this might cause some problems at that new “Mexican sovereign” terminal being constructed in Kansas City to by-pass our ports of entry and acceptance of in-bond shipments even of cattle.
The unsanitary conditions at processing plants which have been well documented appear to escape the vision of USDA also. These conditions are not related to herd or flock producers or the overall health of animals. These conditions are the result of little to no inspections, or the lack of real interest on the part of inspectors, or the lack of an adequate number inspectors. This is also most especially the result of corporate processors more concerned with their profits than public food safety.
Why would an animal identification system or GPS location of private property correct any of these problems which are not related to the actual health of animals?
NAIS has also seen the private ownership of livestock by private individuals referred to now as the ‘US National Herd.’ There is no such herd. But, NAIS would by the change in terminology, by the adherence to non-US laws, standards and regulations, create one. This ‘US Herd’ would be assembled by the NAIS and by Premises ID resulting from the forced compliance and forfeiture of private property rights mandated in these two programs and would quickly be handed over to corporate interests waiting behind the scenes for their plans and investments to pay off.
Designed by the National Institute of Animal Agriculture, NAIS is the constructed plan for seizing control of livestock production in the US. Populated by meat processors such as Cargill and Tyson and bio-pirates such as Monsanto, the who’s who of this group also includes Digital Angel, AgInfoLink and Viatrace which are already stockpiling RFID chips, and tracking equipment, apparently having been assured this assault on private ownership and the ability to track it for the new owners was a ‘done deal”.
Judging from the stage show that was the March 11, 2009 Ag committee hearing, maybe it is. What kind of fair hearing allows the paid proponents of NAIS and Premises ID to make grand opening statements containing gross errors in facts, allowing them to consume as much hearing time as they wanted, and limiting the opponents to five minutes or less?
The obvious displeasure displayed committee members when facts were presented that refuted the governments position was noted by many of us who watched this contrived hearing.
This was not a hearing in the true sense of the word. This was the groundwork being laid for passing this assault on private property rights and anyone who watched it was supposed to come away thinking disease was running rampant in US privately owned herds as the result of too little government intrusion. We didn’t get this impression at all.
What we were impressed with was the efforts to implement another costly and inefficient not to mention unnecessary program at a time when the country’s indebtedness is skyrocketing. We need to be cutting cost, cutting unnecessary and inefficient programs; not creating news programs which would exacerbate the debt.
It is unfortunate that at every turn we are faced with elected officials who cannot seem to find it in themselves to either adequately educate themselves about a subject or to act in defense of the public. The idea that this “hearing” was even held is a signal that once again international agreements and corporate interests trump the public good.
NAIS is not about disease control or track back. It is the outright theft of private property to benefit corporate interests and to subject the American public to yet another round of foreign agreements. It is another program that supposedly the FDA and USDA will administer not according to US laws and regulations, but rather to facilitate illegal trade agreements, standards and regulations which put the rights of investors and corporations above that of individuals or communities.
The data mined information on GPS location and any other gathered information about livestock producers and farmers is being compiled on the Oracle database. Although the Oracle server is located in Texas, the actual files collected have been moved to storage in Canada making them unavailable even under FOIA requests.
It makes me sick to think that this is our government; this is our government working against us.