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General News    H3'ed 1/21/09

Vilsack: Was he put at the USDA to aid a corporate takeover of the US Food Supply?

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Message Linn Cohen-Cole

Vilsack may have been put in place to aid the corporate take over of the US food supply

To put it simply, 2009 is the planned date for major corporate moves to begin the take over the US food supply. They are after control of all animals through the USDA's regulation called NAIS, click here, and over seeds through "seed contamination" regulations buried in the FDA, click here, and they have backed up both with Homeland Security regulations set for "surge capacity" warrantless attacks on farms for seizure and destruction of all animals, crops and equipment based on "bioterrorism" or disease outbreaks. Click here.  Monsanto has influenced and likely helped write NAIS and the seed regulations.

Food safety is the excuse being put forward by agribusiness that is responsible for diseases like Mad Cow and bird flu, click here, is blocking inspections, is subverting Country of Origin labeling by mixing meats together, and feeds the animals pesticide-laced genetically engineered feed, raises them in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), fills them with steroids, hormones and antibiotics, all of which end up called "food."

The USDA is quoted by a farmer as saying "We don't need any farmers and ranchers in this country.  We'll just import our food."  That is, they are planning to outsource farming and ranching, the ultimate basis of food security for any nation.  NAIS is about the take over of animals and the wiping out of all private animal stock.  Please look at that.  Realize the scope of it, consider the implications.

Agribusiness, in league with Monsanto and biotech, is preparing to do what is already happening in Asia - eliminate normal animals and replace them with genetically engineered - PRIVATIZED - ones.  Click here.

The excuse will be dread diseases - diseases they created themselves and which they don't inspect for or fix any conditions to avoid.  Instead, they continue to lower contamination standards.  These are avoidable diseases and easily tested for.  In Japan, every head of cattle is tested, in Europe, one of four.  Here in the US, the USDA won't even allow farmers to test for Mad Cow.  Farmers are screaming because the USDA is set to allow imported animals, including the chance of bringing in Mad Cow, hoof and mouth, and other diseases into the country - a disease we no longer have here. 

But the diseases are valuable to industry.  They are the means to declare emergencies and be "forced" to wipe out farmers' animals.  NAIS is the means to locate every single one (with DNA samples being taken and given to ....?) belonging to farmers who can bear the unbearable bureaucracy, fees, massive invasion of privacy, limitations on movement (a child with bunny couldn't take it to school, a horseback rider couldn't go on a trail ride, without informing the government and paperwork having to filled out within 24 hours) or there are draconian penalties, even for infractions, like (no joke) the chicken crossing the road.

And all of that doesn't even touch what it means to be forced (and often it is happening without people agreeing to it at all) to sign onto Premises ID, a portion of NAIS that signs our farmland away to ... no telling.  After the bailout, all idea of sanity and decency has lost hold and it is clear we are in the grip of international moves that no longer preference the US but now are colonizing us as well.  Click here.

So, please, in approaching anything about the USDA, understand that Vilsack IS Monsanto at the USDA.  And Monsanto wants NAIS (it is genetically engineering whole animals now and those patents are meaningless unless all normal animal biodiversity is eliminated as competition, just as is true of seeds where it is eliminating seed companies, seed cleaners, seed cleaning equipment and putting in place laws that criminalize seed collecting). 

Farmers and ranchers are standing up for us and the literal protection of our food supply when they make the following demands.  They need our help.  They are asking for these rules to be rescinded immediately.  But what is needed is much more. 
1.  Major organizations in the US - farming, health freedom, organic, food safety, animal rights, constitutional, environmental, economic justice, and so many more ... - need to join in a single lawsuit to stop these regulations entirely.  They not only are set to destroy all normal animals and eliminate all means to produce, own and use normal seeds but include opening the door wide to genetic engineering - GE-drug crops, GE-industrial chemical crops - and more. 
2.  These organizations - R-CALF, OCA, PETA, HSUS, CFS, FWW, ACLU, AMNESTY, and truly endless more - need to demand that the new Justice Department immediately initiate a massive criminal investigation into corporate corruption at the USDA, FDA and Homeland Security. 
And for individuals, you can help by signing a petition seeking help from the left and right.

R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America
Fighting for the U.S. Cattle Producer
For Immediate Release                                                               
Contact: Shae Dodson, Communications Coordinator
January 20, 2009                                                                     
Phone:  406-672-8969; e-mail: sdodson (at) r-calfusa.com
Group Urges Vilsack to Immediately Redress Three Rulemaking Blunders by Bush USDA
Washington, D.C. – Today, former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack was confirmed to be this nation’s next Agriculture Secretary, and R-CALF USA wasted no time in sending Vilsack a formal letter not only to congratulate him on his confirmation, but also to seek his immediate assistance in redressing three fundamental rulemaking-related blunders made by the previous Administration and the previous U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
R-CALF USA members have literally expended millions of dollars over the past several years to fund our intense, heated fight against the previous Administration’s efforts to: 1) willfully expose U.S. consumers and the U.S. cattle herd to an unnecessary and avoidable risk of BSE  (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease); 2) prevent U.S. cattle producers from distinguishing beef produced exclusively from their cattle – born, raised and slaughtered in the United States; and, 3) dismantle historically successful disease prevention and control programs and to substitute them with an unproven, intrusive and ill-conceived National Animal Identification System (NAIS) scheme that constitutes a national premises registration for private property, both personal (i.e., livestock) and real (i.e., land).
Specifically, R-CALF USA urged Vilsack to take the following actions within the first few days of President Barack Obama’s Administration:
* Fully rescind the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS’) rulemaking in Docket No. APHIS-2006-0041, commonly known as the over-30-month rule (OTM Rule). The agency’s own risk modeling predicts that the OTM Rule will result in the introduction of between 19 and 105 BSE-infected Canadian cattle, resulting in two to 75 BSE infections of U.S. cattle over the next 20 years. R-CALF USA, the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, five national consumer groups and several individual ranchers won a preliminary injunction in U.S. district court on July 3, 2008, that required the agency to reopen the rulemaking for this docket. The new rulemaking is Docket No. APHIS 2008-0093, and no final agency action is evident in the Federal Register.
* Modify the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS’) final rule for mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL), in Docket No. AMS-LS-07-0081, which is scheduled to take effect March 16, 2009. The final rule defies Congress’ intent to distinguish meat produced from animals exclusively born, raised and slaughtered in the United States with a USA label. Instead, the final rule allows meatpackers to mislabel beef exclusively of U.S. origin with a mixed-origin label (e.g., “Product of the United States, Canada, and Mexico”) if the meatpacker responsible for making an origin declaration commingles any amount of meat derived from imported cattle during the meatpackers’ production day. In addition, the final rule improperly limits commodities subject to labeling requirements if the commodity undergoes minor processing. 
* Rescind all actions by APHIS to register the premises of livestock owners under the agency’s proposed NAIS, including the agency’s Veterinary Services Memorandum No. 575.19 dated Dec. 22, 2008, and the agency’s Jan. 13, 2009, proposed rule in Docket No. APHIS 2007-0096.  Together, these actions usurp Congress’ authority by effectively mandating NAIS participation, including premises registration, by producers that participate in any number of federal disease programs.  
“APHIS is trampling over the rights of U.S. livestock owners and the states in its attempt to compile a national registry of individuals’ premises and their livestock,” wrote R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry, a veterinarian who also chairs the group’s animal health committee. “R-CALF USA looks forward to working with you to improve APHIS’ ability to control disease outbreaks in a manner that is more cost-effective than NAIS and that does not intrude on the rights of independent cattle producers.
“Fundamental changes are needed in the agency you now lead, and R-CALF USA looks forward to working with you to accomplish the goal of re-establishing USDA as an agency that furthers U.S. agriculture by properly balancing the interests of agricultural producers, food consumers, and industry agribusinesses,” Thornsberry said.
“The U.S. cattle industry and U.S. consumers would benefit greatly by the three actions described above,” he added.
“It is our belief that USDA’s severely damaged credibility, which resulted from the agency’s irresponsible pursuits described in each of the forgoing requests, would be substantially restored if these matters were to be expeditiously addressed under your leadership,” Thornsberry concluded. “R-CALF USA has submitted comprehensive comments on each of these issues to the agency. We are available to meet with you and/or your staff at your convenience to further discuss the urgent need for these actions.”
Click here to view/download the letter to Vilsack.
R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on trade and marketing issues. Members are located across 47 states and are primarily cow/calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and/or feedlot owners. R-CALF USA directors and committee chairs are extremely active unpaid volunteers. R-CALF USA has dozens of affiliate organizations and various main-street businesses are associate members. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com  or, call 406-252-2516.  

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Met libertarian and conservative farmers and learned an incredible amount about farming and nature and science, as well as about government violations against them and against us all. The other side of the fence is nothing like what we've been (more...)
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