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No, I am not referring to Obama selecting Vilsack for the USDA though it is a blatant betrayal not only of his promise of sustainable agriculture but of "change" and "grassroots" anything.  Vilsack is a Monsanto lackey. http://www.organicconsumers.org/...

and I believe the hand of the Clintons is heavy in this.  http://www.localforage.com/...

No, the choice of Vilsack for USDA, though, casts an even darker shadow over the day.

For today the state of Wisconsin at the behest of the USDA drags an Amish farmer named Emmanuel Miller to court for obeying his religious principles.  

Perhaps this moment will begin to intimate how the USDA has been operating and why the head of the USDA has become not a political choice but actually life and death for American farmers.

Mr. Miller is due in court today, this Wed. Dec. 17th, at 3:00 pm, at the Clark County Court House, 517 Court St. Neillsville, WI, for his initial court appearance
Family Farm Defenders is encouraging food sovereignty advocates to appear in court in Neillsville to express their solidarity with the Amish farmer being targeted by the State of Wisconsin in its first effort to enforce mandatory premises registration, stage one of the controversial National Animal Identification System (NAIS).    

In July 14, 2008 Attorneys for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund filed suit in the U.S. District Court - District of Columbia - to stop the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from implementing the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a plan to electronically track every livestock animal in the country.  The suit asked the court to issue an injunction to stop the implementation of NAIS at either the state or federal levels by any state or federal agency.

Fund President Taaron Meikle said "We think that current disease reporting procedures and animal tracking methods provide the kind of information health officials need to respond to
animal disease events.  At a time when the job of protecting our food safety is woefully underfunded, the USDA has spent over $118 million on just the beginning stages of a so-called voluntary program that ultimately seeks to register every horse, chicken, cow, goat, sheep, pig, llama, alpaca or other livestock animal in a national database--more than 120 million animals. It's a program that only a bureaucrat could love," she added.

The suit charges that USDA has:

  1.  never published rules regarding NAIS, in violation of the Federal Administrative Procedures Act;
  1.  has never performed an Environmental Impact Statement or an Environmental Assessment as required by the National Environmental Policy Act;
  1.  is in violation of the Regulatory Flexibility Act that requires the USDA to analyze proposed rules for their impact on small entities and local governments; and
  1. violates religious freedoms guaranteed by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Judith McGeary, a member of the Farm-to-Consumer Fund board and the executive director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, noted that "Other mandatory implementations, which weave NAIS into existing regulatory fabric and programs, have occurred in the States of Wisconsin and Indiana where premises registration has been made mandatory; in drought-stricken North Carolina and Tennessee, where farmers have been required to register their premises in order to obtain hay relief; and in Colorado where state fairs are requiring participants to register their premises under NAIS."

In addition, McGeary questioned the accuracy of the existing database, pointing out that the USDA's attempt to make the information in the NAIS database subject to Privacy Act safeguards acts to remove them from public scrutiny.  A journalist seeking access to the database to determine its accuracy filed suit and the same court hearing the current NAIS suit suspended the USDA attempt to remove the NAIS databank from scrutiny indefinitely in a ruling last month.  

A copy of the suit filed against the USDA and MDA is available at www.farmtoconsumer.www (http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/)

http://www.opednews.com/...

While the USDA has not adopted regulations making NAIS a mandatory program at this time, that is only a temporary situation. The 2005 Draft Plan explicitly stated that the three portions of the entire program--premises registration, animal identification, and animal tracking--were to become mandatory by January 2009.  Though the 2006 Strategies document extended the timeline somewhat, it still maintained that every animal owner in this country must participate.

"To have a successful animal disease management program, all producers and affected industry segments will have to participate eventually." The USDA established a January 2009 deadline to have 100% of premises registered and 100% of all animals under the age of 1 year identified, with the remainder of the program to be phased in.

The USDA stated: "If participation rates are not adequate, the development of regulations through normal rulemaking procedures will be considered to require participation in certain aspects of the program."

Thus, since 2005, though there are no federal regulations, USDA has kept the threat of such regulations hanging over American farmers heads.

The Weston A Price Foundation point out that "Even now, NAIS is not a voluntary program. USDA is driving mandatory implementation by funding state NAIS programs with tens of millions of our tax dollars. Wisconsin and Indiana have already adopted regulations making premises registration mandatory. Other states are following their lead; Vermont has proposed regulations, while Pennsylvania is considering a statute. States all over the country are enrolling people in the premises registration program without those individuals' permission. And in contrast to USDA's assertion in this Guide that there are "no enforcement mechanisms or penalties," Wisconsin's regulations provide for revocation of licenses and penalties of up to $1,000 for failure to register, while the proposed Texas regulations included fines of up to $1,000 per day and even criminal penalties. To claim that NAIS is "voluntary" is contrary to the normal definition of this term. The USDA is redefining words in the tradition of George Orwell's 1984

.

http://www.westonaprice.org/...

At the request of DATCP - the Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection - Clark County District Attorney, Darwin Zweig, filed a civil forfeiture complaint against Emmanuel on Oct. 2nd, 2008.  If found guilty, Mr. Miller could be subject to a fine of up to $5000.

"This case being pursued against Mr. Miller would set a dangerous legal precedent and only serves to foster an atmosphere of hostility and discrimination against certain rural communities who should be welcomed as part of the future of sustainable agriculture in Wisconsin," noted John E. Peck, executive director of Family Farm Defenders.  "While literally thousands of farmers have refused to comply with the state's mandatory premises registration for many valid reasons, it is painfully obvious that the state has chosen to go after Mr. Miller as a scapegoat in hopes of intimidating others into compliance."

Family Farm Defenders note that on Aug. 6th, 2008 Mr. Miller and another Amish elder traveled to Milwaukee to speak out against NAIS before the DATCP board meeting, gaining media attention and drawing the ire of government officials.  Since 2003 Wisconsin has received millions in federal taxpayer dollars to aggressively implement statewide premises registration for all those who own livestock.  

Those who have refused to "voluntarily" comply, including many Amish,  have since:

  1.  received threatening government letters,
  1.  been denied milk licenses,  and/or
  1.  found themselves registered against their will by the state.

Under NAIS, the next steps after premises registration will be mandatory RFID (radio frequency identification) chipping and government tracking of all livestock movements.

"Other concerns in Wisconsin ... is [sic] that the system is not maintained by state government, but instead relies upon the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) to maintain the database of Premises ID registrants. This is currently continuing with the RFID tagging database as well http://www.wiid.org/... The WLIC is a private interest group made up of Big Agribusiness, including Cargill, Genetics/Biotech Corporations, like ABS Global, and RFID tagging companies such as Digital Angel, http://www.wiid.org/... and many of these members parallel NIAA membership http://animalagriculture.org/... There are also in fact only 6 RFID tags that are approved by WLIC/NAIS at this time: 2 manufactured by Allflex, 2 by Digital Angel, one by Y-Tex and 1 by Global Animal Management. All four are WLIC members. http://www.wiid.org/...

http://en.wikipedia.org/...
NIAA includes Monsanto.

Family Farm Defenders will be watching this case closely and intends to work with legal counsel to appeal any court decision that would punish any livestock owner, Amish or otherwise, for exercising their religious freedom and food sovereignty in opposition to further implementation of NAIS in Wisconsin.

Mr. Paul-Martin Griepentrog, a farmer in Northern Wisconsin and friend to Mr. Miller is filing a pro se amicus brief in the case.  

Mr. Griepentrog spoke of his family's origins and "the reason for their exodus,  religious persecution.  Not an uncommon occurrence in those times, as this country was, for many, the destination of the oppressed.   In an ironic twist of fate we now have come full circle, with our government becoming the oppressors of religious freedom."

He also described a previous situation in Wisconsin stemming from the outbreak of psuedo rabies in Clark Co.  47 Amish farms had their hogs killed, because of two positive tests in Russian boar pigs, pointing out that the only farmers to have their animals killed by DATCP, were the ones who did not have premise certification.  Three had eliminated livestock to avoid certification.  Then, the Wisc. DATCP took it upon themselves to prosecute only one of the 44 farmers remaining.  Emmanuel Miller Jr. was chosen for prosecution.  He had written a letter to the DA Darwin Zwieg, stating that collectively the group had decided to leave it up to Zwieg and Judge Jon Counsell to find an attorney to represent them.  

"In an act of faith reminiscent of Daniel,  the letter indicated that the Amish would trust that God's guidance would direct them."

Duane Brander,  Compliance Officer, acting under orders from Dr. Paul McGraw DVM, head of the animal health division of the Dept of Agriculture, determined that forced compliance was necessary. In an effort to make a landmark case against the religious objections of the Amish and others.  Zweig stated that "the case was filed as a complex forfeiture."  

The case is subject to administrative civil procedure, and under Wisconsin statutes, by a preponderance of the evidence, the defendant must proof innocence.  Although used in other countries, it is for the prosecution of organized crime.  

Mr. Griepentrop commented that "Although the Amish are organized in a communal sense and certainly can be witnessed at any barn raising,  any application of the word criminal certainly doesn't apply."

"However the severe inconvenience of the DATCP personnel, having to go door to door, to search  farms for hogs in the area, deprived of their ivory towers with air conditioning, their laptops to simply plug in premise registrations is tantamount of high treason, against the administrative bodies enforcing Big Ag's corporate agenda.  http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com...

http://www.ftcldf.org/...  is the complete case against NAIS, including testimony from Amish and other religious leaders.  

http://www.familyfarmdefenders.org/...  is an article that displays the indifference of Farm Bureau to these religious concerns."

Farm Bureau, National Cattlemen's Beef Assn. and other organizations have strong ties to USDA and government officials, including  Wisconsin's agricultural committees.  And though diseases are supposedly a concern, one farmer noted that those organizations continue to advocate for the import of diseased livestock from foreign countries.  "Whether as willful intent to do harm, or depraved indifference, the results are the same. Nothing is being done to stem the source of these diseases."

Farmers opposing NAIS believe that diseases are a concern but that they can only be addressed at the source.  

Meanwhile, the situation has only worsened, as premise registration grants warrantless searches, fines and forfeitures, never mentioned by those promoting the program.

http://www.opednews.com/...

And there is deep concern over why any farmer needs to register his property since it registered  already.  

Derry Brownfield explains that:

"the World Bank, the International Monetary fund and how the world bankers planned on collateralizing the world debt with land. Not just the U.S. national debt, but also the "WORLD" debt.

That is, farmers in signing onto "premises ID" - and it is happening involuntarily to them across the country, appears to signing away his land as collateral on the bailout.

He bases this on a copy of a report of the FOURTH WORLD WILDERNESS CONGRESS, which was held in Denver in 1987. "Over 1500 people from sixty countries were told that wilderness lands were to protect the reindeer, the spotted owl and other endangered species. Ninety percent of the group consisted of conservationists, ecologists, government and United Nations bureaucrats. The other ten percent were world banking heavyweights, such as David Rockefeller of Chase Manhattan Bank, London banker Edmund de Rothschild and the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, James Baker, who gave the keynote address."

George W. Hunt, an investment councilor, served as official host and sat in on all the meetings, and wrote the report.

Paraphrasing Mr. Brownfield:  Conservationists were told the WILDERNESS CONGRESS was about beating the ozone deterioration and bringing the rain forests back. But in meetings closed to the public, with only bankers in attendance, the topics centered on a "WORLD CONSERVATION BANK" with collateral to be derived from receipt of wilderness properties throughout the world with central bank powers similar to the Federal Reserve and would create currency and loans and engage in international discounting, counter-trade, barter and swap actions. The bank would refinance by swapping debt for assets. A country with a huge national debt would receive money to pay off the debt by swapping the debt for wilderness lands. In the long term, when the countries won't be able to pay off the loans, governments from around the world will give title to their wilderness lands to the bankers.

Hunt said that World Bank loans, as they stand now, are not collateralized and they want collateral, so that when they loan-swap debt, they would own the Amazon when countries default. That is, they are going to make their bad loans good by collateralizing them after the fact with land and somebody is going to end up with title to twelve and half billion acres.

Brownfield says "The World Conservation Bank is a scheme to monetize land. This will function as a world central bank and out of that bank there will grow a one-world fiat currency.

"This isn't some scheme conjured up during the Bush and Clinton administrations. The United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development was created in 1982. The commission published the "BRUNDTLAND REPORT," setting the stage for unlimited enactments to take over ecology, and environmental and pollution laws throughout the world. The report stated: "We will have a proposal for very harsh, quasi-spiritual ecological laws for MOTHER EARTH. A MOTHER EARTH COMES FIRST mentality will arise throughout the world."

"When James Baker made his keynote speech in 1987, he stated that, "No longer will the World Bank carry this debt unsecured. The only assets we have to collateralize are federal lands and national parks." Baker's definition of federal lands includes Heritage sites, of which there are about 20 in the United States. I say "about" 20, because they are being added on a regular basis. As I write this article, Congress is about to vote on a proposed Rim of the Valley National Park that would include over 500,000 acres of National Forest land and 170,000 parcels of private property including many farms and ranches. At the same time there is a bill before Congress called the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act that would increase the acreage of designated wilderness by 50% in the lower 48 states. *** While our Heritage sites take in quite a large amount of territory, such as Yellowstone National Park and Mesa Verde, the Grand Canyon and the Everglades, other countries have much greater areas. Brazil for example has the Amazon Conservation Complex and Canada has the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks. As I write this story, the list includes 851 properties in 141 countries, comprising over one third of the earth's land mass. Will all this land collateralize the world's debt?  Probably not, so along comes NAIS (the National Animal Identification System).

"According to the United States Department of Agriculture, "The first step in implementing a national animal identification system (NAIS) is identifying and registering premises that are associated with the animal agriculture industry. In terms of the NAIS, a premise is any geographically unique location in which agricultural animals are raised, held, or boarded. Under this definition, farms, ranches, feed-yards, auction barns and livestock exhibitions and fair sites are all examples of premises."

"That may be the definition some government bureaucrat will give you, but the word "premises" under the "international Criminal Court Act 2002- Sect 4, states: The word "premises" includes a place and a "conveyance." Why check with the International Criminal Court Act?  Because on June 8, 2007, Under-Secretary of Agriculture Bruce Knight, speaking at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, is quoted as saying, "We have to live by the same international rules we're expecting other people to do."

"Throughout the entire Draft National Animal Identification System Users Guide, land is referred to as a premises and not property. A "Premises" has no protection under the Constitution of the United States, while property always has the exclusive rights of the owner tied to it. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution protect property rights.

"The word "Premise" is a synonym for the word tenement. A definition of the word tenement in law is: Property, such as land, held by one person "leasing" it to another. Webster's New World Dictionary 1960 College Edition defines "Premises" as the part of a deed or "lease" that states its reason, the parties involved and the property in "conveyance." Webster then defines "conveyance" as the transfer of ownership of real property from one person to another. It is quite obvious that the bureaucrats in Washington had a very good reason to use the term "premises" and never mention "PROPERTY."

"While the wilderness areas cover about one third of the earth's surface, they are wilderness areas for a good reason – they were useless or difficult to homestead, farm or use in a constructive manner. Worldwide, the best and more valuable land is occupied by farmers, ranchers and people with the ambition to produce. Wouldn't the World Bankers rather have some productive property besides mountains, deserts and swamps?"
Mr. Brownfield ends by saying "I am convinced that the word "premise" will put an encumbrance on your deed. The bankers say they want to monetize land. It's your land and my land they want to monetize."

http://www.opednews.com/...

Which brings us back to an Amish farmer being sued in Wisconsin for not registering his "premises" under NAIS's "premises ID."  And it brings us to his friend, Mr. Griepentrog's question:

"Why implement such a program in the first place,  with all these inherent violations of our personal freedoms?    In the end we are told to follow the money, who will truly benefit from "premises registration."  A look into the definition of this word on an international basis may give us insight.  The answer lies here  http://www.newswithviews.com/... .  This will explain where the collateral for our national debt has been coming from to fund the bailouts."

Mr Griepentrog goes on: "As I write this it is Veteran's Day, we are reminded to remember our Veterans.  Let us also remember those veterans who with frozen feet wrapped in rags, crossed that dark valley so long ago to gain us our freedom.  Most of them were Calvinists, here fleeing religious persecution.

"When they came for the Amish, I did nothing because I was not Amish........"

So, as it stands now, we have a situation in which a tiny group of traditional farmers, the Amish and Mennonite, based on their religious beliefs, are attempting to shield themselves from over weaning USDA power and the loss of the most basic constitutional rights and freedoms.  

And, ironically, all farmers and we ourselves are all now dependent on these gentle people and their deeply held religious beliefs to shield us all, too, from another round of astronomical rape (the bailout being the first) by international financiers - the mandatory (but cruelly hidden) collateralization of all US farm lands.

NAIS, my friends, is not about food safety.  Farmers can tell you that and have been trying to, for some time.  They know this because those pushing it are the same ones who cause the diseases through filthy animal factories, feedlots and slaughter houses, and the same ones who, along with the USDA, have prevented inspections (even as family farmers have asked for them and been refused by the USDA).  NAIS is not about food safety, no matter how many food scares they can "cook" up and no matter their fall-back ramped up threat of "bio-terrorism."  

The USDA is an agency created to help farmers.  The penalties the USDA is imposing for not complying are enough to destroy a farmer in a blink.

(i) $50,000 in the case of any individual, except that the civil penalty may not exceed $1000 in the case of an initial violation of this chapter by an individual moving regulated articles not for monetary gain;
(ii) $250,000 in the case of any other person for each violation; and
(iii) $500,000 for all violations adjudicated in a single proceeding.

http://www.opednews.com/...

Across the country, USDA attacks on NON-corporate farmers using state ag departments continue - raids on horse and buggy Wenger Mennonite in Pennsylvania, http://www.counterpunch.org/...
on dairy farms in California,
http://www.westonaprice.org/...
on organic coops in Ohio.
http://www.organicconsumers.org/...

"Food safety" is given as the reason to sue small, clean NON-corporate farming operations, while giant corporate feedlots and animal factories and slaughterhouse are left uninspected and standards are lowered by the USDA.  
http://www.greenchange.org/...
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/...

Plainly, obviously, blatantly, dishonestly, cruelly, the USDA and its agribusiness partners are not seeking "food safety."  They aren't even seeking cleanliness or basic inspections.  

Farmers know NAIS is not about and has never been about "food safety" or "food security."  It is time for the American public to know.

Heavily disguised as "security," NAIS is about theft.   Theft of the very ground out from under American farmers.

Today is a terrible, terrible day in the history of US farming.  Who stands with the Amish and Mennonite?  Who stands with our American farmers?

Below you will find Paul-Martin Griepentrog's amicus curiae brief.  A true amicus.  A true friend.

STATE OF WISCONSIN

Plaintiff,

        COMPLAINT FOR CIVIL FORFEITURE

vs.

                                                     Case No. 08-CX-05

EMANUEL MILLER, JR.

N9414 ROMDKA AVE.

LOYAL, WI 54446

Defendant

MOTION OF PAUL MARTIN GRIEPENTROG SUI JURIS

FOR LEAVE TO FILE BRIEF AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT

   

            Paul Martin Griepentrog, pro se sui juris, hereby requests leave to file a brief ofamicus curiae in support of the defendant in this case.  I am uniquely positioned to comment on the issue before this Court.  As one who has studied the ramifications of "Premises Registration", and who finds himself in the same situation as Emanuel J. Miller.  See attached affidavit for details, (Verification of Administrative Admissions).

 As indicated in the affidavit the named respondents failed to meet their fiduciary duty pursuant to 5 USC 556.

 In Exhibit H.  Dr. Paul McGraw indicates he believes that the Amish cannot meet step two because of their belief that, premises registration could lead to animal identification as there is no existing statute to affirm this contention.  However the enclosed document NAIS Implementation Cooperative Agreement Work Plan for the WI DATCP, and the USDA/APHIS/ VS clearly indicates the plan includes individual animal identification.  This document stands as a paid contract for the implementation of NAIS.  See the USDA NAIS DRAFT, Strategic Plan 2005 to 2009 enclosed for full details of this program.

 Whereas the State fails its prima facie case by not having established that a habendum clause is present on title deed to the property, which would determine or define the scope or existence of premises.

 "Premises" in International law, includes a place and a conveyance.  The mandate of conveyance under Premises Registration clearly violates Article 1, Section 14 of the Wisconsin Constitution which states all lands within the state are declared to be allodial, and feudal tenures are prohibited.

This information is given to the best of my belief and knowledge so help me YHVH , on this date December 14, 2008.

____________________________

Paul-Martin:Griepentrog   pro se  sui juris

Originally posted to Scaredhuman on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 03:51 AM PST.

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  •  Tip jar from Emmanuel Miller and stopping NAIS. (222+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zzyzx, laurak, gogol, native, Tuffy, Powered Grace, Robespierrette, tommurphy, Debby, Shockwave, tacet, rhubarb, eeff, dkistner, gecko, catjo, elfling, ZAPatty, marjo, SallyCat, musicsleuth, RubDMC, bara, opinionated, KB, missLotus, understandinglife, susakinovember, pdrap, Xapulin, chuckvw, roses, javelina, peraspera, Clues, Bronxist, MazeDancer, mollyd, ClickerMel, Cedwyn, antirove, wader, Quege, SneakySnu, kharma, Dube, emmasnacker, oldjohnbrown, coldwynn, grannyhelen, rflowers, westyny, nedweenie, johnnygunn, Sychotic1, snakelass, alizard, barbwires, econlibVA, zerelda, side pocket, OrangeClouds115, jcrit, Thestral, realalaskan, weelzup, historys mysteries, marina, Tinfoil Hat, salmo, UFOH1, JanetT in MD, chimene, Halcyon, truong son traveler, beans, ChemBob, howardfromUSA, bleeding blue, EdlinUser, where4art, kaliope, sodalis, Blue Intrigue, ohcanada, isabee, debedb, reddbierd, RiaD, martini, mary4, esquimaux, eddienic, Naranjadia, borkitekt, Loonesta, merrinc, birdbrain64, imabluemerkin, JVolvo, Sagebrush Bob, NearlyNormal, ER Doc, AnnieS, garyn, means are the ends, CharlieHipHop, Snarcalita, illusionmajik, Aaa T Tudeattack, AmericanRiverCanyon, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, JohnnySacks, dotdot, marykk, pfiore8, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, Cottagerose, godislove, edsbrooklyn, terabytes, lurks a lot, horsepatsy, joyful, gph11, gatorbot, Kentucky Kid, vbdietz, cyncynical, spiraltn, thursdays child, jnhobbs, Korkenzieher, Predictor, Red no more, JDWolverton, mayrose, loudoun, JeffW, flowerfarmer, I, OleHippieChick, geez53, nanne, Lujane, dewley notid, happymisanthropy, MsWings, Serpents Sorrow, ShempLugosi, temptxan, codairem, pragprogress, kyril, PMA, RubyGal, o the umanity, KimD, Support Civil Liberty, luckylizard, BYw, Guadalupe59, shortgirl, Hope4USnow, forgore, Fiddlegirl, cameoanne, 1BQ, El Yoss, soarbird, DontTaseMeBro, ARS, TruthNotOpinions, banjolele, sweeper, Patch Adam, NYmind, Mercuriousss, prgsvmama26, allep10, synductive99, Katie71, EmmaKY, NThenUDie, Press to Digitate, parse this, oohdoiloveyou, Latex Solar Beef, rb137, ArtSchmart, LaughingPlanet, eXtina, cindiloohoo, Prairie Gal, DeminWisconsin, fidellio, chrome327, plankbob, ExpressStreetcar, pixxer, elginblt, j b norton, Jaimas, nycjoc, Weaselina, Floande, nosleep4u, Actbriniel, bicycle Hussein paladin, Colorado is the Shiznit, ebbet, sethyeah, bluebuckaroo, Olon, the national gadfly, jhz, Chuck Cook, canuck4obama, Felis sempervirens, sturhtert
    •  the first time i read about (37+ / 0-)

      those corn seeds escaping into the natural population, i knew we were in for trouble.

      all for money. but i think, sometimes, we're fighting this wrong.

      can't we tap that thing in us that hungers for quality and value? for creative process and harmony? we always fight the bad guys. that takes up so much energy.

      how do we draw out that quiet need for "real" and "true" and "valuable"?

      first line: real fucking food and ethical treatment of all animals sacrificed for food.

      the slaughter of our food must stop.

      anyway, i read your essay the other day about seeds. i hope you keep writing. this is so important.

      thank you.

      also, perhaps you would consider posting at Docudharma. lots of people there would be very appreciative of your point-of-view.

      "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

      by pfiore8 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:00:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's easy - give the consumer a choice (52+ / 0-)

        Do you want food that has been genetically engineered to withstand certain petrolium-based herbicides and meat that has come from animals with tracking devices who've been packed in confined spaces to such an extent that the facility is an environmental hazard...

        Or

        Do you want food that has been grown using the time-tested techniques of crop rotation, sustainable fertilization and pest deterrence and meat that comes from animals who've been left to graze.

        Illustrate the choice with photos and it's pretty clear what people actually want.

        "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

        by grannyhelen on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:20:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What people want the most, as evidenced (24+ / 0-)

          by the proliferation of Wal-Marts, is simply what is the cheapest (in many ways . . .)

          Other than that, most people don't really care how their food was prepared (if they did, I suspect there'd be alot more vegetarians . . .)

          •  But that's the point, if folks saw how their food (33+ / 0-)

            was prepared, understood that "roundup ready" simply means "easier to apply a petrolium based herbicide similar to the one that I use on my lawn on the seed corn that goes to feed the cows whose meat I buy at the local Walmart"...

            ...I think they'd have the information they need to make an informed choice.

            Right now most folks don't know and therefore don't care. They still think "farm" is something out of the picture book they read their 3 year old.

            "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

            by grannyhelen on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:36:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was more referring to the horror of factory (9+ / 0-)

              farming and the cruelty to the animals.

              I'm not quite sure of your angle on "roundup ready" crops - they use the herbicide glyphosphate (which is made from the natural amino acid glycine and formaldehyde, which in turn is made from methanol).  There may be some "petroleum-based" solvents involved in the synthesis of glyphosphate at some point (as there are for virtually all medicines), but, so what?

              Moreover, glyphosphate is no longer under patent, so feel free to start up a company to provide a competing source for this herbicide (especially if you're one who is chafing under the the thumb of Monsanto - you can now be just a little bit freer!).

              •  Factory Farming is cruel and destructive (11+ / 0-)

                Time to end the Factory Farm loophole where they pollute endlessly and produce disease-ridden carcasses for mass consumption.

                How can each consumer fight back?  Know where your food comes from, buy real food and don't buy any dead animal carcasses that come from unknown sources.  Vegetarians live longer, yet we are still threatened by big ag. chemicals and of course polluted run off from factory animal farms like the ecoli tainted spinach.

                Ecoli comes ONLY from the intestines of diseased animals, this is not something that would be found in a vegetable field.

                  •  including HUMANS (15+ / 0-)

                    WAsh your hands...

                    "...fighting the wildfires of my life with squirt guns."

                    by deMemedeMedia on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:49:20 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Either that, or lick them . . . . (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      whitis, pfiore8

                      from Wikipedia . . . .

                      The average human body, consisting of about 1013 (10,000,000,000,000 or about ten trillion) cells, has about ten times that number of microorganisms in the gut.[1][2][3][4] There's an estimate of about 500 different bacterial species in the intestine.[5] The metabolic activity performed by these bacteria is equal to that of a virtual organ making the gut bacteria termed as a "forgotten" organ.[5]

                      So, if you don't replenish those bacteria, which keep you alive, there's big trouble ahead . . . .

                      . . .  of course a more palatable option is eating yogurt or something like that.

                      And technically, there isn't that much E. coli in the human gut . . .

                      Actual species are listed in this article:

                      The human gut is the home of an estimated 10^18 bacterial cells, many of which are uncharacterized or unculturable. Novel culture-independent approaches have revealed that the majority of the human gut microbiota consists of members of the phyla Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Nevertheless the role of bifidobacteria in gut ecology illustrates the importance of Actinomycetes and other Actinobacteria that may be underestimated. The human gut microbiota represents an extremely complex microbial community the collective genome of which, the microbiome, encodes functions that are believed to have a significant impact on human physiology. The microbiome is assumed to significantly enhance the metabolism of amino and glycan acids, the turnover of xenobiotics, methanogenesis and the biosynthesis of vitamins. Co-colonisation of the gut commensals Bifidobacterium longum and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron in a murine model system revealed that the presence of bifidobacteria induced an expansion in the diversity of polysaccharides targeted for degradation by Bacteroides and also induced host genes involved in innate immunity. In addition, comparative analysis of individual human gut microbiomes has revealed various strategies that the microbiota use to adapt to the intestinal environment while also pointing to the existence of a distinct infant and adult-type microbiota.

                      Rumor has it that the FDA is mandating individual tagging of each and every one of these bugs by December 22, 2012 . ..

                      •  The Reality of the Situation... (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Brit, Roadbed Guy, pfiore8

                        is that the bacteria are the more advanced life form. We are merely their nests/hosts.

                        This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

                        by Mr X on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 09:36:14 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  MoveOn has missed this entirely. Reach them. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          AmericanRiverCanyon, pfiore8

                          Eli,
                          MoveOn needs to help right now.  Today.  

                          WAKE UP.  Please.  The land itself is literally being stolen out from under us by the same people who profited by the bailout.

                          You are missing THE most serious thing happening in the US right now.

                          Look at the number of comments and I haven't even commented myself yet.
                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          http://www.opednews.com/...

                          And on the same day, the very same thing is suddenly being enforced in the UK.  

                          WAKE UP. There is a coordinated move going on against farming, and that includes the appointment of Vilsack on this same day.  Report on Mr. Miller's persecution.  Eli, you are missing the largest civil rights movement in US history - involving all of us, removing our access to the means to survive.  

                          Look at the number of comments - over 800 and still coming after two days.  You've been missing what is happening in the countryside that threatens everyone of us.  

                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          Please help.

                          Best,
                          Linn

                          P.S.  From Gary Burkholder in Kansas, today:

                          Dear Linn:   As you know, I have been involved in some Forum Groups overseas for over 7 years.  In that time span,  numerous events and situations impacting both the UK and the USA agriculture have occurred at almost simultaneous times. At first, I thought that was a little strange, but gave it little thought.   After all, random events do occur, and can be just that, random.  However, in the past two weeks, there has suddenly been a rash of these that have occurred again, almost simultaneously, within hours of each other.

                          Earlier this morning, I sent an e-mail to Mike Callicrate, and to some of these groups, of an article that is on Today's Farmers Weekly Interactive website.   It's about the EU's most recent changes regarding the implementation of Electronic I.D. of livestock in the UK, especially Scotland.  I should have sent you that at the time, but figured you would see it later on today.   Now, about three hours later, you have sent this news regarding the USDA and it's persecution of Mr. Miller regarding premises I.D.   I'm sorry to say this, but what are the odds of this article being published on the very same day as Mr. Miller's court date?
                          That's almost too coincidental, not to be asking questions.   The EU has long had a choke-hold on its Member States farmers;   the red tape and rules regarding animal movement, production licenses, compliance programs, etc, is unbelieveable.   And it's happening to us in just the same way.   If NAIS is forced on our producers, we will be in the same boat as Euopean farmers and stockmen.

                          Burkie in Kansas

                          •  please stop spamming n/t (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            alain2112, Mr X
                          •  This is an identical copy..... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SnowCountry

                            of another blog post.....http://www.opednews.com/articles/Today-is-the-most-TERRIBLE-by-Linn-Cohen-Cole-081217-815.h tml

                            As were several of these other "diaries."

                            You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                            by murrayewv on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:13:48 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am doing my best to reach the left. (0+ / 0-)

                            Forcing farmers to sign away their land (without knowing) to collateralize the bailout under NAIS - disguising it as a "food safety" issue -  is a just sign the other side is way ahead of us, most of whom never even heard of NAIS.

                            The analogy would be the left never having heard of Iraq while the war is going on.  It might call for some repetition.  

                          •  You mean repeating because I repeated (0+ / 0-)

                            a message?  If I had time, I would write it for each person.  It's that important.
                            Forcing farmers to sign away their land (without knowing) to collateralize the bailout under NAIS - disguising it as a "food safety" issue -  is a just sign the other side is way ahead of us, most of whom never even heard of NAIS.

                        •  What? Where are you getting this? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          kalmoth

                          As a geneticist, I find your statement absurd.

                        •  Agree with your signature. (0+ / 0-)

                          Forcing farmers to sign away their land (without knowing) to collateralize the bailout under NAIS - disguising it as a "food safety" issue -  is a just sign the other side is way ahead of us, most of whom never even heard of NAIS.

                      •  I think they regenerate themselves (5+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Brit, kalmoth, Roadbed Guy, Mr X, pfiore8

                        Unless you take a whole ton of antibiotics, the population is self-sustaining. After taking antibiotics the yogurt is definitely a good idea.

                        conscietious objector in the battle of the sexes

                        by plymouth on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 12:04:49 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Contact MoveOn to pick up on this NOW (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        pfiore8

                        Eli,
                        MoveOn needs to help right now.  Today.  

                        WAKE UP.  Please.  The land itself is literally being stolen out from under us by the same people who profited by the bailout.

                        You are missing THE most serious thing happening in the US right now.

                        Look at the number of comments and I haven't even commented myself yet.
                        http://www.dailykos.com/...

                        http://www.opednews.com/...

                        And on the same day, the very same thing is suddenly being enforced in the UK.  

                        WAKE UP. There is a coordinated move going on against farming, and that includes the appointment of Vilsack on this same day.  Report on Mr. Miller's persecution.  Eli, you are missing the largest civil rights movement in US history - involving all of us, removing our access to the means to survive.  

                        Look at the number of comments - over 800 and still coming after two days.  You've been missing what is happening in the countryside that threatens everyone of us.  

                        http://www.dailykos.com/...

                        Please help.

                        Best,
                        Linn

                        P.S.  From Gary Burkholder in Kansas, today:

                        Dear Linn:   As you know, I have been involved in some Forum Groups overseas for over 7 years.  In that time span,  numerous events and situations impacting both the UK and the USA agriculture have occurred at almost simultaneous times. At first, I thought that was a little strange, but gave it little thought.   After all, random events do occur, and can be just that, random.  However, in the past two weeks, there has suddenly been a rash of these that have occurred again, almost simultaneously, within hours of each other.

                        Earlier this morning, I sent an e-mail to Mike Callicrate, and to some of these groups, of an article that is on Today's Farmers Weekly Interactive website.   It's about the EU's most recent changes regarding the implementation of Electronic I.D. of livestock in the UK, especially Scotland.  I should have sent you that at the time, but figured you would see it later on today.   Now, about three hours later, you have sent this news regarding the USDA and it's persecution of Mr. Miller regarding premises I.D.   I'm sorry to say this, but what are the odds of this article being published on the very same day as Mr. Miller's court date?
                        That's almost too coincidental, not to be asking questions.   The EU has long had a choke-hold on its Member States farmers;   the red tape and rules regarding animal movement, production licenses, compliance programs, etc, is unbelieveable.   And it's happening to us in just the same way.   If NAIS is forced on our producers, we will be in the same boat as Euopean farmers and stockmen.

                        Burkie in Kansas

                      •  e. coli (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Brit, kalmoth, Roadbed Guy, skohayes

                        One site mentioned that the average human has about 1kg of microbes in the digestive tract and that 0.1% of that, or 1g, is e. coli (can be up to 1%).   Most E. Coli is not pathogenic; indeed, they synthesize vitamins B and K for us.   Using your 10^18 number, that would make around 10^15 (ignoring differences in mass) or 1 quadrillion E. coli in each person's digestive tract - or about 166 times the world's human population worth of E. Coli in one person's digestive tract.

                        If someone was trying to stop the sale of quality raw milk (and they are) because of a few non-pathogenic E. Coli, I suspect the diarist would be upset (but it wasn't the diarist who brought up e. coli).

                        Intestines of animals and humans are the normal environment for E. coli but they can live outside the body for a while (which is partly why E. Coli testing is done as an indicator of possible unsanitary conditions) and they can live in soil or water containing feces.   E. Coli is something you would find in a vegetable farm.   Manure, wild animal droppings, and dirty hands.   pathogenic e. coli were also found (and made people ill) in airborne sawdust and persisted for 10 months.  airborne e. coli are also more common in urban areas than rural ones.   E. Coli has a half life of up to 390 minutes in air at 22C and 85% humidity (drops to 55 minutes at 10% humidity and drops further at higher temperatures).  It requires only glucose to grow and can live with or without oxygen, so there may be many more habitats for e. coli besides the intestines than we realize.  

                        Presence of antibiotic resistant e. coli is no lower in vegetarians than non-vegetarians.

                        There is a big difference between normal E. Coli and the few pathogenic varieties, even if they are closely related, yet many throw the baby out with the bathwater.  

                        Humans are a colony of many organisms.

                        --
                        -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

                        by whitis on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 01:03:49 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Boy, do I have egg on my face . . . (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Brit, kalmoth

                          is this the first time ever that somebody posted nonsensical information on the internet?? if so boy am I ashamed.

                          In any event - reading the numbers you got from my post, I see that Wikipedia gives 10e14 (100 trillion) while the other link gives 10e18 as the number of bacteria in the gut.  That's an impossibly large variation.

                          So, doing some back of the envelope calculations, and assuming that a bacteria is 1 micron (and unrealistically cubical), the volume of 10e18 bacteria would be one cubic meter (and if they had the same density as water, would weigh 1000 kg).

                          Clearly that's absurd - score one for Wikipedia (which gave the 10e14 estimate, which would be in the ballpark!)!!

                          So actually there'd be less than one E. coli in each person for each person on earth based on the numbers you worked out . . .

                          But the rest of your information is fascinating - thanks!!

                          Finally, estimates are that not only are there more bacterial cells in a person (about 100 trillion) than human cells (about 10 trillion, not counting blood cells, which are about 30 trillion), the bacteria collectively also have more genetic diversity.  As a result I now regard myself as a prokaryote and am happy to tell that to anyone who asks (no one actually has yet, however).

                      •  Given what we are learning and how little (0+ / 0-)

                        we still know, it's nonsensical to be playing around with it.  

                      •  thanks loads... (0+ / 0-)

                        that would be absolutely perfect for my Cooking & Fun Foods Page.

                        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                        by alizard on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:43:10 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Contact MoveOn for help on this NOW (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      pfiore8

                      Eli,
                      MoveOn needs to help right now.  Today.  

                      WAKE UP.  Please.  The land itself is literally being stolen out from under us by the same people who profited by the bailout.

                      You are missing THE most serious thing happening in the US right now.

                      Look at the number of comments and I haven't even commented myself yet.
                      http://www.dailykos.com/...

                      http://www.opednews.com/...

                      And on the same day, the very same thing is suddenly being enforced in the UK.  

                      WAKE UP. There is a coordinated move going on against farming, and that includes the appointment of Vilsack on this same day.  Report on Mr. Miller's persecution.  Eli, you are missing the largest civil rights movement in US history - involving all of us, removing our access to the means to survive.  

                      Look at the number of comments - over 800 and still coming after two days.  You've been missing what is happening in the countryside that threatens everyone of us.  

                      http://www.dailykos.com/...

                      Please help.

                      Best,
                      Linn

                      P.S.  From Gary Burkholder in Kansas, today:

                      Dear Linn:   As you know, I have been involved in some Forum Groups overseas for over 7 years.  In that time span,  numerous events and situations impacting both the UK and the USA agriculture have occurred at almost simultaneous times. At first, I thought that was a little strange, but gave it little thought.   After all, random events do occur, and can be just that, random.  However, in the past two weeks, there has suddenly been a rash of these that have occurred again, almost simultaneously, within hours of each other.

                      Earlier this morning, I sent an e-mail to Mike Callicrate, and to some of these groups, of an article that is on Today's Farmers Weekly Interactive website.   It's about the EU's most recent changes regarding the implementation of Electronic I.D. of livestock in the UK, especially Scotland.  I should have sent you that at the time, but figured you would see it later on today.   Now, about three hours later, you have sent this news regarding the USDA and it's persecution of Mr. Miller regarding premises I.D.   I'm sorry to say this, but what are the odds of this article being published on the very same day as Mr. Miller's court date?
                      That's almost too coincidental, not to be asking questions.   The EU has long had a choke-hold on its Member States farmers;   the red tape and rules regarding animal movement, production licenses, compliance programs, etc, is unbelieveable.   And it's happening to us in just the same way.   If NAIS is forced on our producers, we will be in the same boat as Euopean farmers and stockmen.

                      Burkie in Kansas

                  •  Contact MoveOn to help NOW. Happening UK today (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    pfiore8

                    Eli,
                    MoveOn needs to help right now.  Today.  

                    WAKE UP.  Please.  The land itself is literally being stolen out from under us by the same people who profited by the bailout.

                    You are missing THE most serious thing happening in the US right now.

                    Look at the number of comments and I haven't even commented myself yet.
                    http://www.dailykos.com/...

                    http://www.opednews.com/...

                    And on the same day, the very same thing is suddenly being enforced in the UK.  

                    WAKE UP. There is a coordinated move going on against farming, and that includes the appointment of Vilsack on this same day.  Report on Mr. Miller's persecution.  Eli, you are missing the largest civil rights movement in US history - involving all of us, removing our access to the means to survive.  

                    Look at the number of comments - over 800 and still coming after two days.  You've been missing what is happening in the countryside that threatens everyone of us.  

                    http://www.dailykos.com/...

                    Please help.

                    Best,
                    Linn

                    P.S.  From Gary Burkholder in Kansas, today:

                    Dear Linn:   As you know, I have been involved in some Forum Groups overseas for over 7 years.  In that time span,  numerous events and situations impacting both the UK and the USA agriculture have occurred at almost simultaneous times. At first, I thought that was a little strange, but gave it little thought.   After all, random events do occur, and can be just that, random.  However, in the past two weeks, there has suddenly been a rash of these that have occurred again, almost simultaneously, within hours of each other.

                    Earlier this morning, I sent an e-mail to Mike Callicrate, and to some of these groups, of an article that is on Today's Farmers Weekly Interactive website.   It's about the EU's most recent changes regarding the implementation of Electronic I.D. of livestock in the UK, especially Scotland.  I should have sent you that at the time, but figured you would see it later on today.   Now, about three hours later, you have sent this news regarding the USDA and it's persecution of Mr. Miller regarding premises I.D.   I'm sorry to say this, but what are the odds of this article being published on the very same day as Mr. Miller's court date?
                    That's almost too coincidental, not to be asking questions.   The EU has long had a choke-hold on its Member States farmers;   the red tape and rules regarding animal movement, production licenses, compliance programs, etc, is unbelieveable.   And it's happening to us in just the same way.   If NAIS is forced on our producers, we will be in the same boat as Euopean farmers and stockmen.

                    Burkie in Kansas

                    •  stop spamming the same comment please n/t (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Brit, Roadbed Guy
                      •  Please tell me how it is possible to write (0+ / 0-)

                        a diary on the takeover of all US farmland and end up with people discussing their own little worlds (which is okay generally and even interesting) and not in any way deal with the size and urgency of what is happening?  Do people here not realize the desperation and even agony being experienced by these farmers?

                        So, the repeated messages were a way to say - something serious is happening, do something to help.  

                  •  Yes, but what does this discussion give us if we (0+ / 0-)

                    miss what NAIS is doing.  Focus on what happened today and the connection to the collateralization of our farmland for the bailout.  They are taking over and people are talking about the best way to farm.  We are so far behind is HAPPENING.

                •  You are missing that the "rightiness" of (0+ / 0-)

                  what you are saying has NO meaning if "they" can institute NAIS.  Focus on what happened today and the connection to the collateralization of our farmland for the bailout.  They are taking over and people are talking about the best way to farm.  We are so far behind is HAPPENING.

              •  Hmmm... so you have no problem with GMO crops (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                grannyhelen, pfiore8

                and Monsanto's monopolistic behaviors and their immoral destruction of our seed crops?

                <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                by bronte17 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:21:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  First, if they come onto your property to (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bustacap, pfiore8, chick ghandil

                  destroy your crops, why don't you just take your shotgun and shoot them.  

                  Second, as I pointed out above, the key Round-up patent(s) has(have) expired.  Why don't you start competing instead of simply bemoaning the no-longer-even-in-existence monopolistic behavior?

                  Third, Monsanto does have competition in the are of developing GMO crops - I know that because I looked it up on Google, which seems to be an appropriately scholarly source for most internet discussions on genetic engineering . . .

                  •  That's an arrogant and flippant comment (7+ / 0-)

                    First... I do NOT make it a practice to shoot anyone who walks across my property. Not trigger happy here... that belongs in the GOP domain.

                    Secondly, the seeds blow with the wind. And scatter across the countryside. But then, you know that... don't you?

                    And really, blasting tiny seeds with shotguns blasts? Tsk, tsk.

                    Round-up is toxic and has environmental side effects... plus weeds have mutated from the overuse of Roundup and are immune to its effects. You brush that under the rug.

                    Just one example of the toxicity of Roundup:

                    Although the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup is generally thought to be less toxic to the ecosystem than other pesticides, concerns about its effects on human reproduction persist. In a study in Ontario, Canada, exposure of male farmers to glyphosate-based herbicides was associated with an increase in miscarriage and premature birth in farm families. Seeking an explanation for these pregnancy-related problems, researchers at France's Universite de Caen investigated the effects of the full Roundup formulation and glyphosate alone on cultured human placental cells [EHP 113:716-720]. The herbicide, they found, killed the cells at concentrations far below those used in agricultural practice. Surprisingly, they also found that Roundup was at least twice as toxic as glyphosate alone.

                    ...

                    The researchers found that a 2.0% concentration of Roundup and an equivalent concentration of glyphosate killed 90% of the cultured cells after 18 hours' incubation. The median lethal dose for Roundup (0.7%) was nearly half that for glyphosate, meaning Roundup was nearly twice as toxic as the single chemical alone. Further, the viability of cells exposed to glyphosate was considerably reduced when even minute dilutions of Roundup were added.

                    Lastly, did you use Scholar Google and peruse the work there... or did you just use the general all-purpose catch-all Google with the irresponsible rightwing talking points?

                    Here is a Scholar Google search on Roundup and its various  toxicities.

                    And, as far as Monsanto's "competition" for the corporate welfare agri-$$ -- that is NOT the direction that is most beneficial to us.  

                    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                    by bronte17 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 11:37:05 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  *Any* pesticide is going to harm (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      murrayewv, pfiore8, lemming22

                      cells growing in culture . . . or farmworkers that are exposed to them in too great of quantities (for example, there are reports of farm owners spraying their fields with airplanes with the migrant workers still in the fields - clearly that quite unacceptable - but also a quite avoidable scenario).

                      The good thing about glyphosate is that it is less toxic to animals than many alternatives and can also be used at lower concentrations.  So yeah, it's easy enough to find damning articles about it - but the proper comparison would be "what if something else was used in it's place?"    I'm giving farmers credit that they are not idiots and have already mulled over this question at least from an economic POV and in many cases, also from an environmental perspective.

                      And in the vein of farmers not being idiots, I'm guessing that the vast majority of seeds they sow actual end up within millimeters of where they are intended to (judging from the nicely aligned rows of plants manifest in most of their fields) and do not randomly blow across the landscape like fall leaves.  

                      Myself, by contrast, do have that problem.  Every fall I'm literally all over the neighborhood - sometimes as far as 7 or 8 houses down - trying to track down the tomatoes, green beans, and pumpkin plants I seed every spring . . .

                      •  Dude... the seeds scatter. Farmers know it. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        elfling, pfiore8

                        The people who live around them know it. Anyone with half a brain knows it.

                        Fields are washed with rains (or flooding).

                        Farmers are farmers. They aren't g*ds who control the wind and weather and destiny.

                        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                        by bronte17 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 12:23:36 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I presume if the seeds *do* wash or (0+ / 0-)

                          blow off your property, then they're up for grabs?  

                          So if Monsanto cares to come and take them at that point, the errant seeds would have to be considered fair game.

                          And in the alternate scenario - where they'd actually come onto your property to take them - you rejected the shotgun approach.  OK, fair enough on that too, but what about a really big scary dog or 5? That might keep them away . . .

                          •  You are being deliberately obtuse (0+ / 0-)

                            Seeds blow and that spreads the filthy GMO seed into the surrounding areas.

                            People do NOT want GMO to spread.

                            GMO is NOT securely confined.

                            Trying to stop GMO seed from propagating and blending with other seeds is like trying to stop humans from propagating and breeding with other humans.

                            It doesn't work.

                            <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                            by bronte17 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 02:11:14 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Are you by any chance thinking of pollen? (0+ / 0-)

                            and not seeds;

                            then, your posts would make at least a little bit of sense . . .

                          •  Roadbed guy may be here to be obtuse and (0+ / 0-)

                            throw the discussion.

                            And what about the content of the diary?  Does it even matter here?

                            It was about forcing farmers to sign away their land (without knowing) to collateralize the bailout under NAIS - disguising it as a "food safety" issue -  is a just sign the other side is way ahead of us, most of whom never even heard of NAIS.

                            It was about persecuting the Amish and other farmers.  Where are the comments on any of those things?

                          •  No, Monsanto claims (0+ / 0-)

                            that they own the seeds and any crop they produce wherever they end up.

                            Woe for you if their canola seeds end up on your canola field: their lawyers are standing by to take you to court.

                            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                            by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 03:43:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Roadbed guy may be right about pollen but (0+ / 0-)

                            your point is well taken about the negative consequences of contamination from Monsanto.

                      •  Shall we try to remember the point of the diary? (0+ / 0-)

                        It was about forcing farmers to sign away their land (without knowing) to collateralize the bailout under NAIS - disguising it as a "food safety" issue -  is a just sign the other side is way ahead of us, most of whom never even heard of NAIS.

                        It was about persecuting the Amish and other farmers.  Where are the comments on any of those things?

                    •  Thank you for this. (0+ / 0-)

                      And, then there is the diary, which is about forcing farmers to sign away their land (without knowing) to collateralize the bailout under NAIS - disguising it as a "food safety" issue -  is a just sign the other side is way ahead of us, most of whom never even heard of NAIS.

                •  Who is your comment directed toward? I have a (0+ / 0-)

                  huge problem with all that and that's why Obama's choice of Vilsack is such a betrayal.

              •  And methanol is made from natural or coal gas (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roadbed Guy, pfiore8

                although it's diversifying somewhat now.

                [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

                by oldjohnbrown on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 09:34:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Good point, so that makes it (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  oldjohnbrown, murrayewv

                  a high priority, I suppose, to stop burning petroleum (or the fossil fuels you referred to) in our vehicles and use it for agriculture instead.

                  You know, so we will have biofuels to burn in our vehicles.

                  Some might say that sounds like a completely futile cycle leading to nowheres.  I say it sounds like a completely futile cycle leading to economic recovery by generating new renewable energy jobs right here in America.

                  •  Perhaps (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Roadbed Guy

                    I don't see any pressing need to use petroleum in agriculture, certainly not to the extent that it is used now.

                    But if you try to say that in a public or agricultural policy context you find the multi-billion-dollar chemical industry breathing down your neck. Just ask the University of Northern Iowa.

                    And while I support biofuels, I consider crop-derived biofuels to be at best a stopgap until someone comes up with a scalable way to make them from algae or bacteria or waste paper or some other source that does not involve overbred, soil-depleting, water-crazy crops like corn.

                    [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

                    by oldjohnbrown on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 01:01:04 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's irrelevant what we make them from if the (0+ / 0-)

                      land has been taken over - the point of the diary.

                      And what about the content of the diary?  Does it even matter here?

                      It was about forcing farmers to sign away their land (without knowing) to collateralize the bailout under NAIS - disguising it as a "food safety" issue -  is a just sign the other side is way ahead of us, most of whom never even heard of NAIS.

                      It was about persecuting the Amish and other farmers.  Where are the comments on any of those things?

              •  By Monsanto's contract (0+ / 0-)

                if you buy Roundup Ready™ seed, you must buy N gallons per acre of Roundup™ herbicide. You're not allowed to purchase the generic. That's why they created the seed, to protect their herbicide patent.

                That said, the generic is widely available to other users.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 03:38:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  You are right but try to focus on (0+ / 0-)

                what happened today about NAIS and the connection to the collateralization of our farmland for the bailout.

            •  People don't want to know how their (7+ / 0-)

              food was made.  I grew up in the country and when I talk about farming to my city friends I get the "I don't want to hear it, I just want to eat it."

              Who really wants to sit around and watch sausage being made?  It really takes the joy out of a tasty piece of smoky link.

              •  Food (10+ / 0-)

                No one would take another bite if they saw how filty their food actually was.

                When I was a reporter, people who defended turkey and hog farming practices would talk about how clean the farms were. "Why...you have to wear booties and protective clothing and hair nets if you visit the animals! They want those animals SUPER clean!!"

                Raise your hand if you believe that. Those animals have no immune system  Sneeze near a Tyson turkey and it would probably sprout a tumor, it's eye would fall out and it would start bleeding from it's rectum.

                Go look at a picture of a heritage turkey. THAT is what a turkey looks like. I don't know what the hell that white, sickly thing that gets shoved into a machine behind Sarah Palin is. But I feel sorry for it. And I won't have any trouble telling you which one costs about $8.00 and which one costs about $150-$200.

                People have a natural aversion to other people's (and animals') waste. You don't have to be taught it. It's why you cry when you poop your diaper. Tears, urine, excrement, pus, vomit, fingernail clippings, skin, scabs...no one wants that. Urinating is a perfectly natural act. We all do it. But if I took a leak in the hallway of your office building, you'd probably get pretty mad at me. And you'd probably take a wide berth around that hall until someone ELSE cleaned it up.

                But when people hear that half of the planet's spinach had to be recalled because they found e. coli on it, no one asks why. Why is a bacteria  that's only found in the intestines of mammals suddenly all over my leafy vegatables? It's not like you apply fertilizer by spraying raw cow poo over your fields.

                •  probably because the cow feces gets in the water (4+ / 0-)

                  source used to irrigate the fields.  As long as we have wind and water and insects it is impossible to quarantine sources of contamination or genetically modified seeds and pollen.

                  As long as we live like worker bees in hives in cities and buy our foods pre-packaged and factory farmed it is impossible to maintain the extrmely low cost of food in America.

                  Not everyone is in a position to only buy organic gourmet foods or from local farmer's markets.  besides in India, China and other emerging nations field foods are frequently fertilised with human as well as animal feces, plus chemicals added as sources of protein.

                  •  Normal manure and humanure are fine (0+ / 0-)

                    if they are composted.  

                    The danger is from manure from animals in the industrial system which are now producing resistant bacterial strains related to eating grains and because of the genetically engineers grains.

                •  What isn't being covered is that the poop from (0+ / 0-)

                  cattle raised on grain is dangerous but not that from cattle eating grass.  And the grain-fed, antibiotic-loaded, steroid fattened, pesticide-eating cattle manure has some dangerous and resistant strains of bacteria.  

                  Mess with mother nature, and you get a mess.  

                  Same with genetic engineering.  

              •  Maybe these days... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pfiore8, i like bbq, sethyeah

                Our farming ancestors had few such qualms.  Meat was a treat, and for most of them a luxury food.  

                Dems in 2008: An embarassment of riches. Repubs in 2008: Embarassments.

                by Yamaneko2 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:23:22 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  At some times (5+ / 0-)

                  and in some places.  For Eskimos, it comprised most of the diet.  And the remote ancestors of the Indo-Europeans (not to be confused with the Neolithic Europeans who actually lived in western Europe -- the Indo-Europeans lived in South Russia and Uzbekistan at the time) were a pastoral people who subsisted fairly extensively on beef and milk products, just as the Lakota lived on everything buffalo.

                  Complete dependence on agriculture is relatively recent in human evolution and actually, most of our digestive systems haven't fully adapted to a grain-based diet yet.  That's one reason why Type II diabetes is so prevalent.  Most of us really aren't designed to live primarily on carbohydrates.

              •  Nonsense. (6+ / 0-)

                You get a sausage-making kit, and I'll come over to help you use it.  Even plunging my hands into the icky-gooey mess to help mix it up (I assume you'll want me to wear latex gloves these days.  Never had to do that when I was growing up, but times do change).

                There are plenty of people who like knowing where not only their food, but everything else comes from.  I draw the line at crawling under my car to inspect its insides and get filthy black goop all over me, but my apprentice loves that part, so I know that there are really no limits to human curiousity.

            •  I'm getting fed up with anti-GM people (18+ / 0-)

              I've just read a studythat shows the BT cotton in India causing suicides is bullshit, that it actually decreased pesticide use by 40% and boosted their crop production.

              I'm becoming more convinced that rather than genuine concerns about GM they're just being Luddites.

              There are close to 7 billion people on this planet, and in the face of global warming we are not going to be able to feed them all if we refuse to utilise technology. We barely feed enough people today using intensive agriculture - I would love for everybody to live organically, but that's not going to be possible. We either keep using the petrochemicals or we improve our crops genetically.  

            •  Contact MoveOn to help (0+ / 0-)

              Eli,
              MoveOn needs to help right now.  Today.  

              WAKE UP.  Please.  The land itself is literally being stolen out from under us by the same people who profited by the bailout.

              You are missing THE most serious thing happening in the US right now.

              Look at the number of comments and I haven't even commented myself yet.
              http://www.dailykos.com/...

              http://www.opednews.com/...

              And on the same day, the very same thing is suddenly being enforced in the UK.  

              WAKE UP. There is a coordinated move going on against farming, and that includes the appointment of Vilsack on this same day.  Report on Mr. Miller's persecution.  Eli, you are missing the largest civil rights movement in US history - involving all of us, removing our access to the means to survive.  

              Look at the number of comments - over 800 and still coming after two days.  You've been missing what is happening in the countryside that threatens everyone of us.  

              http://www.dailykos.com/...

              Please help.

              Best,
              Linn

              P.S.  From Gary Burkholder in Kansas, today:

              Dear Linn:   As you know, I have been involved in some Forum Groups overseas for over 7 years.  In that time span,  numerous events and situations impacting both the UK and the USA agriculture have occurred at almost simultaneous times. At first, I thought that was a little strange, but gave it little thought.   After all, random events do occur, and can be just that, random.  However, in the past two weeks, there has suddenly been a rash of these that have occurred again, almost simultaneously, within hours of each other.

              Earlier this morning, I sent an e-mail to Mike Callicrate, and to some of these groups, of an article that is on Today's Farmers Weekly Interactive website.   It's about the EU's most recent changes regarding the implementation of Electronic I.D. of livestock in the UK, especially Scotland.  I should have sent you that at the time, but figured you would see it later on today.   Now, about three hours later, you have sent this news regarding the USDA and it's persecution of Mr. Miller regarding premises I.D.   I'm sorry to say this, but what are the odds of this article being published on the very same day as Mr. Miller's court date?
              That's almost too coincidental, not to be asking questions.   The EU has long had a choke-hold on its Member States farmers;   the red tape and rules regarding animal movement, production licenses, compliance programs, etc, is unbelieveable.   And it's happening to us in just the same way.   If NAIS is forced on our producers, we will be in the same boat as Euopean farmers and stockmen.

              Burkie in Kansas

              •  Dude, seriously, why are you comment spamming (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brit, kalmoth, murrayewv, skohayes

                your own diary?

                Enough.

                'k?

                Thanks

                SophK

                Some men weave their sophistry till their own reason is entangled. ~Samuel Johnson

                by sophistry makes me tired on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 01:33:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  This diary had a few nuts loose initially... (4+ / 0-)

                  it's no big surprise that now the wheels are coming off. It's not a pretty sight, but I just can't help rubbernecking...

                •  this person isn't writing their own diary.... (2+ / 0-)

                  or the previous ones either.  Or else they are just wholesale cutting and pasting from their other blog, which is bad form.  

                  You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                  by murrayewv on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:31:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I agree... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    murrayewv, SnowCountry

                    But it worries and frightens me that so many are willing to jump on the falsehoods and paranoia wholesale.  Good Lord.  I have no particular love for the good ol'gubmint, but jeez louise.

                    ;)

                    Cheers!

                    SophK

                    Some men weave their sophistry till their own reason is entangled. ~Samuel Johnson

                    by sophistry makes me tired on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:38:40 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  thanks- (2+ / 0-)

                      last night I wasted too much time challenging these falsehoods.

                      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                      by murrayewv on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:47:59 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  You are comfortable not knowing what is going (0+ / 0-)

                      on or making any effort to find out.  I am a leftist, too, who knew as little as you do now, but with some time spent in real contact with people who are doing through this, that changed.  The left is missing what is happening and your reaction, to call it paranoia when you aren't informed, is a means of cutting yourself off from extremely serious things that are happening.

                      You could spend only a little time investigating to find out, rather than dismissing a serious and sincere diary that is an attempt to wake up the left.

                      •  You dork... I've been writing all along (0+ / 0-)

                        that I actually own and run a farm.  I do NOT know "little" - I comply with NAIS daily.  I know the program intimately, and I can tell you that 99% of what you wrote above is utter crap and lies.  If ANY of what you worte was true, I would have been fined off the face of the earth well before now.  

                        I don't know who you talk to who continues to lie to you and feed your paranoia, but I'm sure what I say won't count because I'm not validating your nonsense.

                        What you have in your diary is false.

                        It is not what those of us who ACTUALLY LIVE THE FARMING LIFE experience.

                        Don't try to point fingers at someone who is actually living and complying with NAIS and call us uninformed.  I would beg to differ that those whoare only writing paranoid diaries at DK are those who are uninformed, not we farmers. :)

                        Try to relax some, will ya?

                        SophK

                        Some men weave their sophistry till their own reason is entangled. ~Samuel Johnson

                        by sophistry makes me tired on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 02:09:31 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

            •  It is almost irrelevant what we want in terms of (0+ / 0-)

              better food given the major moves being made by corporations to literally steal the farmland and to take over all seeds.  Focus on what happened today and the connection to the collateralization of our farmland for the bailout.

          •  some people do; others don't. (9+ / 0-)

            let's not oversimplify.

            McCain is this year's Alan Keyes.

            by chicago jeff on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:07:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Priorities would be somewhat different (7+ / 0-)

            if most people's incomes hadn't stagnated over the last 20 years.

            "A country that doesn't make anything doesn't need a financial sector as there is nothing to finance." Paul Craig Roberts

            by Sagebrush Bob on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:22:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  cheap goods are the most expensive goods (14+ / 0-)

            you'll ever buy: it's your health. it's the environment. the energy to manufacture cheap poisons ... from plastic toys to cell phones and everything in between. not only does it leach once discarded, but it's taking up room that we earthlings need.

            we all clamor for better. i'm not sure we really want cheaper. we just want access. and maybe we've been confusing the two.

            "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

            by pfiore8 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:23:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  we need to return (13+ / 0-)

              to the idea of QUALITY being of paramount importance.

              if you are vegetarian & eat only GM food & super processed food are you any better off than your  neighbor who grows his own veggies & raises his own meat....organically?

              it's past time to get the word QUALITY into use again....not only in our foodstuff, but in every facet of our lives.

              Liberal/Blades 2012
              The hippies had it right all along...it's about time...the culture as a whole sent out a big, wet, hemp-covered apology.MMorford

              by RiaD on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:13:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  way past time, RiaD! (5+ / 0-)

                quality. in our food. our industrial processes. in our gov't. in our interactions with each other.

                way past time!

                "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

                by pfiore8 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:34:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  quality is a very elitist concept (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                murrayewv, i like bbq

                tell the people of sub Saharan Africa they should look for quality.

                I guess if you have the luxury of that kind of choice one should opt for quality, but just because you spend more for your organically grown pesticide free tomatoes that doesn't negate the factory fsarmed fruits grown for the mass market that looks at the price before they look at the quality.

                If they didn't no one would shop at Walmart or other chain supermarkets.  This discussion like many others takes on a peculiarly American perspective not the realities of a large portion of the planet's people.

                •  I don't mind if people want to spend.... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SnowCountry

                  all their money on quality food.  But to really trust the food supply, you need to be in personal contact with it.  Take up gardening, please.

                  You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                  by murrayewv on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:33:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't want to argue but if you (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RiaD

                    live in the inner city of Baltimore as one example you need land, a community garden project, or at the very elast a windowsill to place a pot of herbs.  All I am asking is that everyone considers the realities of where people are forced to acquire their food.

                    •  not a problem for me.... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RiaD, soccergrandmom, SnowCountry

                      I bring up gardening to point out the very difficulty in actually producing food.  Alas, you are the only one who seems to get the real dependence we have on someone else working to grow a lot more food than they need to eat.  And we have very little control over how they grow that food except to take an interest in it and make wise purchases.  Hispanic and other itinerant workers grow most of our fruits and veggies and many are imported.  The corn grown is going to feed the animals we eat, not to feed us.  Most of these GMO foods are in commodities, and the farmers can barely make a go of it with all the benefits of technology and subsidies.  

                      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                      by murrayewv on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:41:03 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Are you involved in farming at all yourself? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        RiaD

                        Most people here know very little about what is happening.  How do you?

                        •  I think this was directed at murrayew but I was (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          murrayewv

                          chatting with him as well. My family and I live in a rural area in the southwest. My son provides two acres of his land (5 acres) to a local cooperative growing vegetables in the summer and selling in the local stores and farmer's markets.  I contributed half of the money to construct a greenhouse on the property so we also have fresh vegetable in the winter. It is a steep learning curve and the first batch of tomatoes froze becasuse the temperature drops about 40% precipatetly at night.  

                          We also got chickens for the eggs and all was well until my grandson left the gate to the pen open by accident and they all got out to be killed by our two rescue dogs who thought they had died and gone to heaven.  The chicken stew was quite good though.

                          So far we figure the cost of growing our own organic food is about $12:00 per pound of tomatoes and $10 per   tiny chicken.  Ah well.

                          We also didn't take into consideration the gas needed for me to drive over every day to feed the now defunct chickens when they went away for the weekends.

                          We'll get it right and the feel good quotient is very high.

                          •  Oh soccergrandmom..... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            soccergrandmom, SnowCountry

                            you are trying and making a difference.  I know the difficulty of the hobby farm as well.  My collegue grew organic lambs and beef- we would buy the meat on spec and she would then send the animals to the butcher and we would pay a good price for the quality, but she took on less risk that way.  But the learning curve on all this is steep.  My dad was a wizard gardener- absolutely devoted and creative.  He grew an amazing amount of high quality food and gave much away- and boy was it work.  And he worked hard at gaining knowlege of how to do it, and it was never so much saving money as having better food to eat ourselves.  And chickens are actually quite tough to rear- growing up in the country, nothing was as despised as a chicken killing dog or weasels or fox in the henhouse.  

                            My favorite hobby farm story was another colleague growing 10 geese.  One goose broke its leg and my collegaue couldn't bring himself to kill it.  So he took it to the vet, who splinted and treated the leg.  By the time the 9 geese were butchered, they were losing money- they couldn't bring themselves to kill the one they saved.

                            And as I said in another diary, I worked in agriculture for a few years and I am a geneticist and know a lot about plant breeding.  I grew up in the country and all my neighbors were dairy farmers.  I lived in Kansas and learned all about wheat while I was there as well.  I also worked for years as an archeologist and know a lot about domestication of plants and animals and how agriculture works in the developing world.  I have also run greenhouses and done pesticide free gardening in them, so I know how hard that actually is to do.

                            I think your efforts are admirable and more should do them- but it requires losing the separation between our food supply and ourselves.  And I know that the farmers who work so hard and have such a hard time breaking even are NOT flattered by being told they are evil for using Round-up and planting high yielding varieties.  For people to set their hair on fire over all this fear with no real data and enter into a vast conspiracy is so anti-intellectual and anti-technology.  And the real irony?  They are using technology to complain about technology.

                            Notice I don't spend much time dissing orangeclouds.  Her perspective is more nuanced and measured and she really tries to explore the alternatives to modern agriculture, not just demonize Monsanto- who really have made the whole of agriculutral biotechnology very difficult for any of the other companies out there.  I really hate that everyone is considered a Monsanto clone- one of my very close friends is the chief of R&D for Stine Seeds and there are definitely other seed companies out there to sell you products.  If people want to pay for them, and demand goes up, prices will come down.  

                            I am myself an inventer.  I find the shock and anger over patenting plants and pharmaceuticals to be laughably out of step with anyone in the government's goals for this country.  Ben Franklin and Tom Jefferson wanted the patent system and it isn't even an amendment to the constitution.  It is part of the basis for this country more than freedom of religion, which is an amendment.  Even socialists have patents- it takes communists to want collective ownership of people's inventions and intellectual property.  And we have done that experiment a few times and have seen how that works.  Stalin and Mao's greatest failures were famines.  We had poverty in the great depression but not famine- in part because some people knew how to grow their own food.

                            You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                            by murrayewv on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 09:24:48 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  thank you so much for this response (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            murrayewv, SnowCountry

                            At 75 years of age and having travelled extensively all over the globe for work (a documentary researcher, writer and producer) of programs exploring the concept of 'rights'  for indigenous peoples in lesser developed nations, I very early on realised how complex survival is and the simplistic manner in which too many protest upsets me sometimes.

                            I too, was brought up in England,  in the country, and during the war (to us that is still WW2) was as a child totally perplexed at the view of the city kids evacuated to live in our village who thought that milk came in a carton and were terrified and often horrified at the actual act of milking a cow or killing a goose (quite hard to wring a goose's neck actually).

                            So again, thank you for expanding so clearly on the relationship of humans and the land and the food we eat and the complex nature of the web of life.

                            I must say that I did give up eating shrimp after having a delicious lunch at a shrimp farm in Vietnam and seeing with my own eyes that the waste from the toilets fed directly into their pens!  I knew intellectually that all shellfish are scavengers but the visible proof was a bit much even for my hardened stomach and sensibility!

                  •  Agree about being in personal contact to know (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RiaD

                    what is going on.  And not just with food but politically.  

          •  What people want (3+ / 0-)

            and what they can AFFORD are often two different things.  People WANT quality.  With today's labor market, what two-thirds of the population can AFFORD is crap ... and less of that as the real estate ATMs have dried up.

            The fundamental problem is too many people.  The second fundamental problem is that far too few of those people hold far too much of the money/power that we have to distribute among us.  As long as we tolerate the excesses of runaway capitalism, the Rich will not trouble their beautiful minds over the less fortunate dying of poisoned food and water while they order their cooks NOT to serve chocolate-covered strawberries because they're sick of having them at every party.

          •  and that's why so many Americans (0+ / 0-)

            are willing to pay premium prices for organic food. Even Walmart sells organic food now.

            BTW, even the current Consumer-in-Chief, George W Bush is a buyer of organic food.

            Also note the attempts by agribusiness to make it impossible to indicate that food is/is not GM or hormone-free so consumers don't have the option of avoiding GM or hormone-loaded foods.

            IOW, your thesis that Americans don't care what we eat doesn't fit observed facts.

            The people who buy without regard to food labeling are generally close enough to the margins that the emphasis is on cheap and filling and/or live in areas where healthy food is simply unavailable.

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 12:32:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Seriously, if the majority Americans really (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              murrayewv

              cared what they ate, high fructose corn syrup would not be ubiquitous . . .

              There would not be 5 fast food chains at every intersection in suburbia . . . (how is that even possible based on the laws of geometry?).

              Would there be 4 billion sentient creatures (mostly chickens, but still . . ) cooped up in factory farms right now?

              and I could go on, but I suppose you either agree or don't . . . (clearly some Americans do care deeply, I'm not disputing that, just that it's a relatively small minority)

            •  The problem being (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              murrayewv, Predictor

              that most people aren't educated about organic foods.
              For example, there are organic pesticides and herbicides (a very long list) out there that are legally used by certified organic farmers.
              Study after study has shown that organic food isn't going to make you healthier, but it will make you poorer.
              Now, one difference you can find is in organically raised meat- no antibiotics or growth hormones (for cattle) are used, but that often means sick animals are culled or killed, since they can't be treated.
              And there are huge corporate farms that are getting into raising food organically, because the market is expanding very quickly.
              So it helps to educate yourself before buying that organic salad at Wal Mart.

          •  Whether people can't afford anything besides (0+ / 0-)

            Walmart is separate from whether you, who gets it, work to stop the theft of US farmland and the privatization of all seeds, and ....

        •  It's clear what people want but that is separate (0+ / 0-)

          from what is happening behind their backs to takeover US farmland, put seeds out of reach, etc.  What people want has no meaning if we don't see what is happening, including Obama's choosing Monsanto/Vilsack to head the USDA.

      •  Why don't we sue them for trespass (18+ / 0-)

        when their organism invades our farm?  Seems they should have the burden to keep it sequestered if they want it retained.  Its like leaving a copy of your manuscript laying around and then complaining that someone read it without purchasing it.

        (-7.0, -6.4) "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson

        by NearlyNormal on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:07:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Please contact MoveOn for help, NOW (1+ / 2-)
        Recommended by:
        murrayewv
        Hidden by:
        kalmoth, sophistry makes me tired

        Eli,
        MoveOn needs to help right now.  Today.  

        WAKE UP.  Please.  The land itself is literally being stolen out from under us by the same people who profited by the bailout.

        You are missing THE most serious thing happening in the US right now.

        Look at the number of comments and I haven't even commented myself yet.
        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        http://www.opednews.com/...

        And on the same day, the very same thing is suddenly being enforced in the UK.  

        WAKE UP. There is a coordinated move going on against farming, and that includes the appointment of Vilsack on this same day.  Report on Mr. Miller's persecution.  Eli, you are missing the largest civil rights movement in US history - involving all of us, removing our access to the means to survive.  

        Look at the number of comments - over 800 and still coming after two days.  You've been missing what is happening in the countryside that threatens everyone of us.  

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        Please help.

        Best,
        Linn

        P.S.  From Gary Burkholder in Kansas, today:

        Dear Linn:   As you know, I have been involved in some Forum Groups overseas for over 7 years.  In that time span,  numerous events and situations impacting both the UK and the USA agriculture have occurred at almost simultaneous times. At first, I thought that was a little strange, but gave it little thought.   After all, random events do occur, and can be just that, random.  However, in the past two weeks, there has suddenly been a rash of these that have occurred again, almost simultaneously, within hours of each other.

        Earlier this morning, I sent an e-mail to Mike Callicrate, and to some of these groups, of an article that is on Today's Farmers Weekly Interactive website.   It's about the EU's most recent changes regarding the implementation of Electronic I.D. of livestock in the UK, especially Scotland.  I should have sent you that at the time, but figured you would see it later on today.   Now, about three hours later, you have sent this news regarding the USDA and it's persecution of Mr. Miller regarding premises I.D.   I'm sorry to say this, but what are the odds of this article being published on the very same day as Mr. Miller's court date?
        That's almost too coincidental, not to be asking questions.   The EU has long had a choke-hold on its Member States farmers;   the red tape and rules regarding animal movement, production licenses, compliance programs, etc, is unbelieveable.   And it's happening to us in just the same way.   If NAIS is forced on our producers, we will be in the same boat as Euopean farmers and stockmen.

        Burkie in Kansas

      •  Did you read that NAIS is about taking the (0+ / 0-)

        farmland?

    •  civil forfeiture laws violate basic principles (31+ / 0-)

      The notion that a house committed a violation of the law by containing a marijuana plant and therefore can be seized and sold is irrational. Property does not commit crimes. People commit crimes.

      Civil forfeiture is a way of circumventing the Constitutional rights of criminal defendants.

      "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:42:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wait, why is (18+ / 0-)

      tracking livestock a bad thing?  I'm pretty sure a major part of food safety is in being able to determine where things come from.

      Maybe a neutral party should maintain the database rather than a random business consortium, but I don't see why chipping in and of itself is bad.

      As for the religious objection, tough nuts.  Either the animal is for the food system, or it is for private use.  If it goes in the system, then the farmer must play by the rules.

      We don't advocate pharmacists stepping away from public duties for religious objections, and we should apply the same standard here.

      •  We can't even keep track of PEOPLE (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dewley notid, sethyeah

        in this country, but we are spending multi-millions tracking livestock for diseases.  This is something they think we need to do in response to the fact that our livestock system is dangerous and unsustainable (read fast food nation for more information).

        The Menonites and others have strong religious reasons to resist tagging.  Others have strong privacy issues with the matter.

        There are bagels in the fridge

        by Sychotic1 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:50:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Religious reasoning (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jxg, murrayewv, esquimaux, i like bbq, sethyeah

          is insufficient.  I think in many other matters, we have established as a community that policy reasons are paramount when considering what to do with policy.

          •  Freedom of religion (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            martini, dewley notid, sethyeah

            is one of our basic precepts.  I am agnostic and even I know and accept that.

            There are bagels in the fridge

            by Sychotic1 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:29:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure, you (6+ / 0-)

              have the freedom to practice in your own home.  Once your practices impact the system or other people, the secular law takes over.

              In other words, you freedom ends wherever your fist meets my nose.

              •  And what about (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                imabluemerkin, cynndara, Sanczez, sethyeah

                ...growing what you want to eat on your own land? Gone.

                There needs to be separation and balance between large-scale commercial efforts and local, personal use. The tracking reportage is onerous and unnecessary. Enforcing existing regulations would go a long way towards improving the safety of current operations. Even though I think factory farming, as widely practiced, needs serious rethinking.

                Would you want to be forced to eat something you know to be unwholesome, just because industry decided that it's profit margin must come between all else?

                Pursuit of happiness, provided it doesn't interfere with maximizing Corporate profits is not freedom, at least not by my definition.

                Shooting wolves from planes is to hunting, what hiring a prostitute is to dating.-Shannyn Moore

                by zzyzx on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 09:52:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Why would you lose (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  murrayewv

                  the ability to grow your own meat?
                  The whole idea behind animal ID is to identify the source of a disease should we have an outbreak of something like hoof and mouth, as they did in Britain in the last decade.
                  With our agriculture industry under threat from someone who could potentially kill millions of livestock with one small vial of hoof and mouth virus, things like NAID are necessary, imo.
                  Millions of animals in the UK were killed unneccessarily because it took them so long to track it back to the source (a farmer feeding garbage to his pigs).
                  Having participated in mock drills with the state agricultural agencies of a HMD outbreak, we concluded that if one farm in Kansas broke with hoof and mouth, within 24 hours, it would have been spread through various means over 5 states.
                  Because of the laws regarding vaccine status, like the UK, any and all animals that were within 5 miles of the outbreak or any infected animal would need to be euthanized within 24 hours.
                  The NAID would enable the government to trace back an outbreak a lot quicker than they are able to now.
                  As an example, the last cow with BSE found in the US took two weeks to track her back to her home farm.

                  •  problem is these mennonites and amish.... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    SnowCountry

                    want to butcher and sell the meat.  Which they can do for themselves, but if there is an epidemic of foot and mouth disease, things would be rough.  They don't want their children vaccinated and so we keep getting measles outbreaks too.  

                    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                    by murrayewv on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:39:01 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  But when pharmacists won't sell contraceptives (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jxg, esquimaux, i like bbq, cynndara, sethyeah

              because it's against their religion, everyone here is up in arms.  It's got to be one or the other - either laws trump religion or they don't.

              •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                peregrina, murrayewv, esquimaux

                I don't give two pins about someone's "religious principles." Jerry Falwell had religious principles. Pat Robertson has religious principles. If you're harming no one else, do as you will, and I'll speak out against anyone forcing you to do otherwise. Bringing up your personal superstitions won't make me more sympathetic to your cause, however.

                •  OK (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  peregrina, sethyeah

                  let's cut to the chase, then: it's a bad policy.  Simple as that.  It's burdensome to small business and necessary solely because of the corruption and bad practices of large businesses.  Therefore, the little guys are being burdened, per usual in our corporatist economy, with picking up the messes and shoveling the crap for the guys who actually cause the damage.  The poor are being asked to pay equal shares out of pocket with the rich, for a mess that only the rich caused in the first place.

                  It's why I won't live in a rich neighborhood.  Too many lazy free-riders who want Somebody Else to pay "equally" for their conveniences.

          •  This policy, however (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            esquimaux, Sanczez

            is badly thought out and like so many regulations today, exists to tilt the playing field more severely in favor of the large corporate players.  The expenses to small-scale farmers are totally out of proportion to the health benefits; the system itself is needed in terms of public health only BECAUSE of the abuses typical of the corporate players who can also afford the solution.  The proper response, would be to make participation mandatory for large commercial/industrial operations and leave the little guys alone.

            •  The farmer (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              murrayewv, Predictor

              with a few animals that wants to save money by not vaccinating is far more likely to cause a problem than the larger farms that vaccinate their animals on a regular basis.
              The cause of the outbreak of hoof and mouth in the UK in the 1990s was caused by a guy with a few pigs that was feeding them garbage.
              The state of Colorado caught a guy last month transporting wild pigs from Georgia to a hunting ranch that were infected with pseudorabies. If they'd had an outbreak, there would have been all kinds of repercussions that would have cost the state and it's farmers a lot of money.

        •  Well, we do track people, (4+ / 0-)

          most people anyway. But 5000 people every year die from contaminated farm produce. Tracking where it comes from is a good idea.

          •  Factory Farming (6+ / 0-)

            is the problem, not tagging.

            There are bagels in the fridge

            by Sychotic1 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:28:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Tracking Is Analysis, Not Prevention (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bustacap, murrayewv, flowerfarmer

            You do no want the outbreak to occur because the system itself has a response time to an event.  Republicans have used a slow system response, as well as saturation, to great effect.  On average, you react in 0.25 seconds.  Is it enough?  Let's just say they stopped dodgeball play in schools.

            We had four airplanes all being tracked on 9/11, did it matter?

            If safety is the concern, the greatest-bang-for-the-buck is in fully funding inspections and enforcing best practices.

            •  Again, so what? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              murrayewv

              Analysis is the first step in prevention.

              No one has yet given an actual reason to oppose tracking.  They've given reasons why tracking alone is insufficient, but I've yet to see why tracking itself is a problem.

              •  Analysis means that if they get one case of a (0+ / 0-)

                pathogen on a farm they can then seize and destroy every animal within so many miles and more easily destroy the small farmer/competition.  There is nothing about this that is good for sustainable and family farming.

              •  We Already Have Tracking (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kalmoth, murrayewv

                Opposition to tracking is moot.

                •  We already have GMOs.... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SnowCountry

                  opposition to GMOs is moot and growing mooter as the lack of harm is becoming more and more obvious.

                  You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                  by murrayewv on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:41:18 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Usu. GMOs Are Not Functionally Redundant (0+ / 0-)

                    GMO's are targeted genetic kludges rushed out of the lab by the irresponsible and unethical whose only purpose is to establish an exploitable dependency relationship for personal monetary gain.  Once a parasitic iron grip is established, IP law is then abusively enforced to squeeze blood from a stone.  Long-term studies?  None.  Reversibility?  None.  Assurances?  None.  Knowledge of problem domain?  Not necessary, there are bucks to be made.  Appreciation for the inherent danger?  Hey!  There are bucks to be made!  Long history of failures with lesser technologies and repeating same failures?  Check, see also insanity.

                    Replacing a tracking system with another unproven, more expensive tracking system doesn't make sense unless critical functionality is provided by the new system.  No such additional functionality has been proven to be necessary, nor has the finer granularity been justified.

        •  we could track people if we chipped them (5+ / 0-)

          if you have obtained a passport in the last 10 years, it's chipped.  Lots of your credit cards and store "customer loyalty" cards are chipped too.  They're not even shy about it- my American Express card is transparent, and you can see the RFID chip in it.  

          My wallet is lined with tinfoil.  No, I'm not kidding.

          Xeni at boingboing has a short video about using a $100 card scanner to strip credit card numbers from the chips in people's pockets.  See:

          in tests on 20 cards from Visa, MasterCard and American Express, the researchers here found that the cardholder’s name and other data was being transmitted without encryption and in plain text. They could skim and store the information from a card with a device the size of a couple of paperback books, which they cobbled together from readily available computer and radio components for $150.

          If you carry a wallet full of credit cards, you're already chipped.  You just didn't know it.

          the Legality.com We research the law so you don't have to!

          by the law of ducks on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 09:18:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It is not only the public food supply (17+ / 0-)

        NAIS applies to raising livestock for your own use if it involves buying chicks, calves, replacement stock, keeping livestock healthy through vaccinations, and testing for some diseases, such as equine infectious anemia.

        Any of those actions, would place a producer into the NAIS system.

        Not only would the Amish not be able to raise their own livestock, they would need to wire their homes for electricity in order to run their computer. They would have to buy computers and learn to use them. They would need telephone lines in order to report all livestock movements within 24 hours. Assuming the Amish keep their horses and carts, every time they go to the store, to the neighbor, or to church they would have to report their movement to the USDA within 24 hours.

        From the USDA tracking database schema, it appears that reporting includes leaving the premise and returning to the premise. The information will go to a private database which implies to me that there will be a charge for each report.

        •  The horse thing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          murrayewv, cville townie

          seems a little above and beyond.  However, how do we deal with a loophole if livestock can be labeled for "private" or "community" use and then backdoored into the system?

          How does that knock on to slaughterhouses if you have to treat them differently to report animals that are without tags?  Should there be a report for that one?

          Now, as for the allegations of unequal enforcement brought up in the main diary, these are serious problems.  USDA, like all regulatory agencies, needs a regular scrub to ensure that it has not been captured by the industry it is meant to enforce.

        •  You don't have to report movement (0+ / 0-)

          unless there's a problem like a disease outbreak, or in the case of a sale or a death.
          Say the farmer takes his horses to a sale and one horse at the sale comes up positive for EIA.
          The government now has the ability to contact everyone who bought or sold horses at that sale and notify them to get their animals tested within a day.
          If a cow is sold for slaughter and comes up positive for BSE, she can be traced back to her home farm within hours,instead of weeks.
          And the Amish guy can simply go to his local USDA office and fill out any paperwork without getting online.

      •  Don't Accept Another Wall Street Bailout (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cynndara

        After eight years of neglect, the money would be better spent in inspections, enforcement, and methods of prevention while diversifying the producers.  We rely on a few big banks.  We rely on a few big media outlets.  We rely on a few auto makers.  We rely on a few airlines.  We rely on a few oil giants.  Is there a pattern?

        An approximation as to how NAIS might behave is our national flu tracking.  For prevention, we need inspectors, procedures and enforcement, not tags.  How NAIS is marketed is not consistent with how it functions.  Bait and switch.  Bait and switch.  Rinse and repeat.

      •  The private database is an instant red flag (9+ / 0-)

        The long list of "regulations" that disproportionately punish small farmers is another.

        Most of the food safety issues occur in industrial ag. The Amish meat available where I am is indisputably the highest quality available; the runners up are small, local commercial farms. That's why agribusiness is trying to kill them.

        [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

        by oldjohnbrown on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 09:43:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  can you cross post this to my blog? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Predictor

      link is in my sig.

    •  I think Obama fooled a lot of us (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TruthNotOpinions

      and I think we were very wrong to throw Ralph Nader under a bus

      Even though he supposedly "cannot win" therefore we should not vote for 3rd party candidates.

      In terms of advocacy for the sanctity of our country, there hasn't been a presidential candidate who has done more than Ralph Nader.

      And not to make this about Nader, but our 2 party system clearly is not working for the interests of most American people.

      We're screwed.

    •  wow (6+ / 0-)

      The soltuion here is easy; if Amish guy doesn't want to participate in the program, he shouldn't be allowed to sell his livestock to anyone.

      Sound harsh?  As an American consumer of agricultural products, I want - no, I insist that there be records of the entire production chain of my foodstuffs.  From farm to plate.  And if any farmer doesn't like it, they can opt out of farming.  

      I don't care what the guy's religious principles are.  His religion does not give him the right to interfere with my personal safety, and it shouldn't get him off the hook for obeying the law.

      •  Ask fastfood vendor for info on chicken nuggets: (6+ / 0-)

        How much reliable food history information do you think you will be allowed to access, as an 'American consumer'?  Tyson, with it's problematic history, provides fast food vendors like KFC with chicken meat product.  How much do you really think they will comply in giving you any particular food history information?  

        You might get box numbers, batches, truck numbers, but that merely takes you back to the processor.  Now what?  You have a processor site number and, if lucky, a 'production' date.  Will you be handed any testing results for levels of bacteria or contaminants, histories of processing steps, sources of nutrients and antibiotics?  I don't think you'll get anything like that without a court-ordered, large scale undercover investigation, for which you have to show sufficient cause.  

        You might get an nice PR explanation of how normal chicken meat processing is done, and told that's what should have happened with the batch processed that date at that site.  If you press for more, as an individual American consumer, you might get a letter from their legal department which probably will refer back to the state agriculture standards, and their insistence that they comply and have a long history of cooperation with the state.  

        Their 'record' of production is proprietary, whatever is actually retained is kept in a private database, and it isn't actually being kept for the benefit of the American consumer.  It's for their benefit.  It's data will be used in the interest of Tyson's shareholders and owners.  It will be used to increase the security of their place in the market, while it might also be useful to give the state some useful leverage.  

        So you are resting on a misleading if not false assurances, and by relegating your role to merely being an 'American consumer' you consign yourself to risky, unhealthy ignorance, and it is harsh you wish to impose that on the rest of us -- indeed, that is such an unfair harshness I must reject.

        If you go to the Amish farmer or organic farmer, and ask about the food, they are likely to honor your interest and take time to tell you seed sources, animal lineage, feeds and fertilizers used.  Try getting that info from Tyson.

        I don't want misguided and anal-retentive consumers, falsely believing this sort of corporate/state control is healthy to be allowed to demand the state dictate which independent farmers I may visit to buy organic food products--products which are raised with far greater care and diligence than any factory farm.  If I want to treat my organic food with antibiotics, irradiate it, and freeze it after I buy it, allow it to thaw and freeze again, all so it's just as good as the factory version, please leave that choice to me.  

        Let's consider accountability. You will not hear of massive recalls of produce from organic vendors because they operate at a manageable scale and know quality is vital to their reputation.  What do 'American consumers' believe happens to recalled Tyson product?  Do you know?  What means of public verification is there?  What happens to Tyson itself?  Do you know if they actually change any aspects of their very large scale production process?  Or perhaps they just promise to try a little harder to adhere to their 'proven' process?  At worst, allowing a state inspector to monitor it for a few days?

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:46:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And Your Rights (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        prgsvmama26

        As an ignorant consumer of commerical food trumps my rights to purchase food from small-scale farmers in my community who don't have the resources to meet the bureaucratic regulations written by corporate-ag lobbyists?

        Nice to know your fucking rights are so much more important than mine.

      •  Well as an American consumer I want the right (0+ / 0-)

        to decide whom I buy from and how they farm.  Frankly the producers I work with are far cleaner and contientious in their practices than the BEST of the factory megafarms.  You can buy your mass produced garbage all you want, just stop messing with the relationships and transactions I have spent years cultivating.  

      •  Who's to say he isn't keeping records? (0+ / 0-)

        Albeit probably using a quill pen and candle light. Still, I'm sure any sales are recorded, certainly by the buyer, and if there's a problem, they can go visit the Amish guy and ask for his quill pen records, and visit the farm to make sure everything is up to standard.  Why is having everything computerized so important?

        I wonder if there's any evidence of bad food coming from Amish farms.  I bet they take really good care of their animals and plants.  I bet they take way better care of their animals and plants than factory farms do.  

        "Electricity is really just organized lightning." - George Carlin (RIP)

        by bohemian darling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 02:57:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Amish causing food poisoning..... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SnowCountry

          teh google is rich in examples.
          http://www.usatoday.com/...

          A few foodborne illnesses have been linked to domestic kitchens that sell homemade food to the public. They include canned green beans sold at markets in several states and candy sold by the Amish that led to a stomach virus outbreak that sickened 48 people in Minnesota in 2002.

          The State Bureau of Food Safety, while expressing sympathy for ''the cultural sensitivity of this situation,'' has told the Amish that any place serving food to the public must be licensed and inspected. The state became concerned last summer after several members of a Mormon bus tour became sick in New York with E. coli and investigators discovered they had dined at the Fishers' farm a few days earlier.

          link

          POLSON - Cross-contamination of drinking water with salmonella bacteria from a poultry pen was the likely cause of a disease outbreak that has closed the Dinnerbell restaurant since early August, health officials said Monday.

          The Dinnerbell Bakery and Banquets is a popular Amish restaurant near St. Ignatius that features traditional American cuisine such as baked chicken and gravy, corn on the cob, fresh-baked bread and homemade pie. The food is served family-style, with patrons seated side-by-side at banquet tables in one large room in an Amish farm setting.

          link

          Not sure why the foods of a culture without refrigeration would be expected to be less prone to food poisoning.  Many church suppers have led to food poisoning events too.

          You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

          by murrayewv on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:56:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  aw shucks (0+ / 0-)

            Somebody should tell them about the wet sand refrigeration technique.  

            I'm sure it's possible to inspect and regulate their agricultural output without infringing on their religious beliefs.

            Thank you for the links.

            I also wonder, though, what the percentage is of Amish restaurant poisonings compared to non-Amish (i.e. the rest of the country) restaurant poisonings.  It's a different issue than livestock, in any case.

            "Electricity is really just organized lightning." - George Carlin (RIP)

            by bohemian darling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:16:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Amish were doing just fine for generations, (0+ / 0-)

              no one keeling over from anything.  This is a government use of food scares just like it uses "terrorism" scares, to push for NAIS spying and to push for NSA spying.  Both are about taking control.  Both ramp up fear to achieve what is wanted.  

              In Wisconsin, farmers are saying deer are being infected with diseases that can infect cattle in order to make an argument for NAIS.

              •  Yeah, seriously, quite obvious I think, (0+ / 0-)

                But how to explain these facts to those swaddled in the comfy blanket of the corrupt FDA?

                I swear, the more I chat with liberals, the more I understand the perspective of conservatives.  Neither group has a political party accurately representing us.  O, America.

                "Electricity is really just organized lightning." - George Carlin (RIP)

                by bohemian darling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 11:03:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  the deer ARE infected.... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SnowCountry

                with a wasting disease related to Mad Cow Disease.  It spread from elk and deer farmed for meat.  It is an excellent and substantiated argument for NAIS.

                You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                by murrayewv on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 09:42:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  This is how the USDA is setting people up to (0+ / 0-)

            push for NAIS.  In Pennsylvania, the lab tests done by the Pennsylvania ag department, which is attacking independent farmers all the time, don't match independent labs at all.  The PDA says there's salmonella, closes down a dairy (but doesn't say to people "just heat the milk 5 minutes and it's fine"), scares away customers, leaves the farmer without income for weeks, because going back and saying "oops, no salmonella," which is what the independent labs said in the first place.  The Amish haven't been killing anyone.  People choose to buy from them, know who they are buying from personally, want to buy from them.  the PDA is destroying them.

            It's the industrial system in which you don't know where anything comes from, the conditions are disgusting, you have no options to pick from this farmer or that, that needs inspecting - but that is not happening.  The USDA even refuses to inspect with non-corporate farmers offer to pay for it.

            There is a wholesale effort by Ag departments to create fear of the food from independent farmers in order to make an argument for NAIS (and to get rid of raw milk dairy farmers altogether - that's the Amish and Mennonite - who are making a living and don't use corporate middlemen at all).  

            For years raw milk was sold in California GROCERIES without a single incident.  Now the USDA is after them.  Too tired for links tonight but look up the Weston A Price Foundation or the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund to see who is helping farmers.

            Thanks for writing.

            •  Well- Salmonella isn't the problem in milk.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SnowCountry

              it is E. coli, coliforms, campylobacter, listeria and tuberculosis.  Listeria actually survives and grows in cold storage and is the major problem in cheeses- usually causes illnesses only in pregnant women who lose their babies, the elderly and infants.  

              Here is a nuanced approach to selling raw milk using HAACP process and testing being reported in California.  However, they note recent raw milk health outbreaks have made this bill harder to pass in California.

              Two suspected raw milk outbreaks have occurred that were accompanied by high coliform counts in the weeks leading up to the illnesses. One outbreak was an E. coli 0157:H7 cluster in Connecticut (as reported by reporter/blogger David Gumpert) and the other was a campylobacter cluster in California. Outbreaks linked to raw milk are telling the regulators’ story.

              link

              I really find ignoring the history of food poisoning and tuberculosis from the farming methods of the 1800s and early 1900s to be unacceptable.  Amish and Mennonites aren't bad farmers and don't want to make themselves sick with the food they make.  However neither are they superhuman, and these are products taken from very close to the anus of cattle.  Anyone milking a cow can see that.  So this can't be a low bacteria problem unless dairies are clean and you have no assurances unless you test that your processes are working.  HAACP is about building a clean process.

              I really recommend you learn something about the process of sanitarians.  I went to their national conference one year when my company was developing a rapid microbiological test for dairies to use to assess their processes.  We also brought out a test to see if foods were GMO or not.  Sanitarians tell it like it is- they are the ones testing the milk.  We brought in consultants from McDonalds. Dean Foods, USDA, and other food manufacturers and sat around asking them about food poisoning and regulation.  They were the ones who explained how concerned the food industry is with spoilage bacteria as much as with toxic bacteria.

              The number one place to affect food quality in the USA is McDonalds.  If they decide their milk or meat needs to be a certain grade or tested a certain way, or the carcasses steam cleaned at the butchers etc.  then the whole industry goes that way.  The fast food industry has very high cleanliness standards and works hard to prevent food poisoning.  But noone wants a test so senstitive you detect a bacteria that was there and now is killed- so they still do living bacterial growth tests.

              As for the 5 minutes of warming to kill bacteria- doesn't work if the toxins are in the milk from the previously existing high amounts of now killed bacteria.  Really, radioactive waves do a much better job sterilizing milk and that is what they use extensively in Europe.  Interestingly, hasn't caust on here much because of fear it somehow damages the food.  They are as proradioactivity as we are proGMO.  I guess it just depends what you are afraid of the most.

              You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

              by murrayewv on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 10:00:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  oops I'm wrong. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SnowCountry

                Salmonella is ALSO a problem in raw milk.  My bad.  I was reading the food poisoning blogs and it is pretty clear there are risks to children and adults in consuming raw milk and no demonstrable benefits.  But some people are absolutely convinced otherwise.

                You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                by murrayewv on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 01:32:42 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  That isn't one of the choices (0+ / 0-)

        NAIS covers all animals whether they're for the commercial slaughter market, personal consumption, or not for food use at all.

        NAIS would cover their horses.

        NAIS would require them to file reports by computer or perhaps by phone.

        By the way, NAIS won't give you records from farm to plate. All the records are aggregated when the animal gets to the slaughterhouse. You won't know what farm your steak comes from even with NAIS. At best you might be able to know that of meat of the 100,000 cattle that was mixed to make your burger, that it came from one of these 100 farms.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:16:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I thought this was in regard to "puppy-mills"... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, sethyeah

      which, in Wisconsin, have been a real issue.  This has been linked with the Amish commuity in particular.

      Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project

      Or am I confusing two different situations?

      ??

      REAFFIRMED as a second-class citizen since Nov 4, 2008!

      by Timoteo on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:04:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My heart is so heavy today. I can't write any (3+ / 0-)

      more comments on any more discouraging agriculture threads. :-(

      Thank you for having the energy to carry on.

      I'm going to go look at all my Obama buttons and memorabilia and credit card receipts, and think about all the hard work we did in Iowa to--I hope it isn't so, but it's looking likely--get SCREWED!

       

      •  Keep heart (0+ / 0-)

        First, I think it will be necessary for us to keep the pressure on Obama. That's our job. He needs us to do it, so that he has balanced pressure from both the corporate and consumer sides.

        Second, I try to remember that he is going to be President of all the people. That means he has to be President both for us and for corporate Ag. Ideally, he will help broker good solutions - ones that make our issues better and also guide the corporate ag practices to be more sustainable.

        Third, I think unlike any other President in my memory, I think he is receptive to our point of view and will listen. He has to listen to a lot of people, but I am optimistic that as long as we keep pressing our case, that we will be heard.

        The fight isn't over, but we're not in such a bad spot.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 09:53:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Corporate Ag is not people. We shouldn't (0+ / 0-)

          be misled into thinking that.  There are real people and there are corporate interests and the constitution doesn't say by the people and corporations, for the people and corporations, and of the people and corporations.  The government belongs to us.

          We need to remind Obama of that and pressure him to remember who is out here and who is being hurt by those corporations.  

          But it is very sweet to see your kindness to Prairie Gal and your reassurance.

      •  I am so sorry this is hard. Your reaction is the (0+ / 0-)

        most authentic, heartfelt and connected response I've almost ever seen.  You are really taking in how serious this is and what it means about Obama appointing Vilsack.

        Go get some rest and feel better and then come back and put your energy into doing what needs doing, with or without the government to agree or help.  

        Join FarmOn and become part of a list planning to grow large enough to help fund a coalition of legal teams for strategic legal battles to save farming.  Be part.  

        I feel for you right now.  It is so much to take in.  It makes me sad to be the bearer of so much bad news.  On one hand, I am working so hard for people to hear the stuff at all (and it is particularly hard here where no one seems to believe anything they don't already know) and on the other hand, if someone does get it and is affected, I feel so badly.  

        I hope you are okay.  

  •  I wish you would leave the Clintons out of this. (16+ / 0-)

    Obama's picks are just that:  Obama's picks.  Let's just leave it at that.

  •  Interesting sidenote (16+ / 0-)

    is that the illnesses and diseases which have been communicated to humans through the food chain, most cases involved vegetables and fruits which were contaminated by various substances.

    As far as the control of disease among animals, I was unaware of any large scale problem among livestock that could be compared to the cholera epidemics of the 50s and 60s or England's more recent hoof and mouth outbreaks.  Also, given the mortality of chickens and the relatively short lifespan of most poultry, would the average factory farmed chicken live long enough to get into the database and then have his fate recorded? (not to mention hatchlings that die within an hour or so of hatching.)  

  •  I don't have a bone to pick over this (9+ / 0-)

    but on any given day, we can read how important it is to know where our foodstuffs originated, from cattle to apples and spinach.  Origin labeling in not a by-product of Shop Local, Eat Local, but an attempt to isolate infected food.  But then the bureaucrats take over...

    "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

    by JFinNe on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:21:49 AM PST

  •  thanks, lots of food for thought here n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jcrit

    Dream, that's the thing to do (Johnny Mercer)

    by plankbob on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:36:50 AM PST

  •  Wait a minute (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, martini, OleHippieChick, cameoanne

    don't we have a group of Kossack Lawyers here somewhere?  Surely there's someone in Wisconsin?

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:44:26 AM PST

  •  Please (7+ / 0-)
    check the DK FAQs.
    3 paragraphs for block quotes.
    My scroll fingers are wearing out.
  •  The tears about livestock registration are ... (29+ / 0-)

    because currently lots of farmers, when they take their cattle to a livestock auction yard, sell their cattle to a penhooker for cash, then don't report that as income. Livestock identification would eliminate that tax cheating option. I am not looking forward to mandatory IDs because it will mean extra trouble to confine each animal and attach whatever kind of tag they come up with. I don't, however, have any objection to the concept of an end user being able to trace an animal back to my farm.

    •  How much does it cost to tag (6+ / 0-)

      each chicken, and how much profit is left for the farmer?

      Are you aware of the draconian paperwork required? For instance, our neighbors fox hunt and would have to file paperwork prior to each hunt, since they leave their 'premises' to do so. I know that's a minor example. But the price to tag would eat up profits on chickens.

      •  Also, if you live within a certain radius (6+ / 0-)

        of an outbreak, even if it's at a CAFO near you (there's one less than a mile from us, within the radius), then they'll destroy your livestock too, even if yours are healthy.

      •  Yes, tagging chickens (0+ / 0-)

        is ridiculous.  Doesn't mean the whole concept is bad though.

      •  NAIS (0+ / 0-)

        Chickens don't have to be tagged individually if you treat them all as a group and don't allow the groups to mix.  But there are advantages to tagging individual animals (to track their histories internally) provided the cost is reasonable.  On a small farm, however, the animals may be acquired and disposed of over time rather than all at once.

        Parrot's are required to be tagged for other reasons (illegal importation of wild parrots).   It costs $10 for 25 tags ($0.40 each) and less in quantity.   These are simple aluminum bands, not RFID.   And you don't see parrot breeders raising a big stink about it.    Some companion bird owners or breeders had gone one step further and implanted RFID chips in more than a million birds to make it easier to recover lost animals.  Those are more expensive and implanted.  Many other pets have been RFID implanted as well.    And those that aren't often wear a collar with identifying information.  RFID legbands and injectable tags cost around$4 each in small quantities.  That is too expensive for individually tagging a broiler chicken.  A variety of other poultry RFID tags are also available.  A portable reader costs around $200 and a PDA with built in RFID around $500.    A USB reader for use with a laptop is around $60.
        Note, however, that their are some circumstances when a person's privacy might be compromised by surepticiously reading Fido's RFID tag. Cattle RFID/human readable tags are $2.25 in small quantities.  

        Whatever the merits of the particular implementation of NAIS, and you certainly don't get the facts from this diary, there is nothing inherently wrong with tagging animals.   Tagging in some form or another is just good practice.

        A small farm does not necessarily need an RFID reader since it can combine an RFID tag with a human readable one and record the crossreference between the two numbers when installed or use combo tags.

        There is no excuse for exorbitant registration fees; the government could run the database with free access at a nominal cost to taxpayers.  Premise registration is already free. , though states could impose fees later.  And you register identifying info with the government for many reasons already: Birth certificate, SSN, driver's license, real estate ownership, vehicle ownership, etc.

        There doesn't appear to be anything at the federal level preventing a consortium of small farmers from setting up their own database service provider if they are not satisfied with the cost or privacy options of the existing providers.   Web based and site based options can be available.  A database provider or application can track additional information to aid in internal record keeping (vaccinations, milk yield, animal weight history, pedigree,  etc).    There are 1.9 billion poultry animals in the US; At $0.01 per poultry animal, that would be $19million - plenty to run the database servers.   There are 104 million head of cattle, another $10million at $0.10 per head.   Thus with a few percent market share, a provider could have negligible registration fees.

        There are now 9 tag manufacturers, not 6 (USDA).

        Technically, the NAIS does not require RFID tags though some slaughterhouses might or charge extra for manual data entry or require you to email a list of tag numbers.   Some tags also have 2D barcodes on them.

        Kansas State University was selected by the USDA to do a cost/ benefit analysis.

        NAIS opponents estimate significant record keeping expenses - for records good farmers should be keeping anyway.  The database registration costs are $0.30 -$0.50 per animal according to the USDA.    Equipment costs are not necessary for a small farm but for a medium size farm may be more than offset by labor savings.   Luddites like the Amish might pay a little more for data entry.

        Tagging costs are not a significant issue for medium to large mammals.   For poultry and seafood, they are if the animals are tagged individually, at current tag costs.   But comparing NAIS impact on small farms to factory farms overlooks that they may compete in different markets.  According to Clemson University, NAIS doesn't plan to use RFID on chickens but instead use traditional leg/wing bands ($0.10 in small quantities, $0.06  in 1000 qty).   A 5lb free range chicken costs around $7.84  to raise (flock of $600) and sells for href="2.50.  Thus, a non-RFID band would be about 1% of the cost and 0.5% of the price.   RFID band costs might come down and it is possible they could be recycled after a suitable waiting period.   For mass market broiler chickens, your corporate overlords (Tyson, Purdue, etc) provide the chicks in a batch and take them back in a batch four to six weeks later.   USA today points out that there are some different disease spread issues on small poultry farms (spread between farms) compared to the large ones (spread within farm).

        --
        -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

        by whitis on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:57:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I tag all my sheep (5+ / 0-)

      with numbered ear tags - it's quick, cheap and easy, especially seeing as I confine my animals to inspect them several times a year anyway.  But I am considering moving to RFID for my own convenience.  Ear tags are often lost.

      I am required to tag my adult ewes if they are to be sold to help track Scrapie.  But I tag everyone so I can better keep track of their health, weight gain etc.

    •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, murrayewv

      I understand the religious objection, but then the folks with religious objections should devise a documentable system for tracking their animals so that they do not end up in the food system if not tracked.

      Seems so simple.

      It's to their benefit to devise a tracking system, too, not unlike keeping a genealogical tree of Amish families (and I'm sure they do that); I'd much rather consume meat that I know to be raised by Amish, but how can I be sure that's what it is without any traceability?

    •  I am not against NAIS if (0+ / 0-)

      people want to restrict it to animals going into the mainstream generic foodchain and slaughterhouses.

      I AM against it for hobbyists, for pets, and for small farmers who already are doing custom slaughter and either producing for themselves or under their very small label that has its own traceability.

      It should be voluntary and it should not cover non-commercial animals.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:04:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm stil struggling to get why NAIS is so evil (36+ / 0-)

    Farmers know NAIS is not about and has never been about "food safety" or "food security."  It is time for the American public to know.

    I hope you saw and read about the foot and mouth epidemic in Britain - it destroyed many farmers and spread incredibly fast. A system to track disease outbreaks would save a lot of heartache. I think you need to lay out your concerns more concisely, namely

    1.Religious concerns (for the Amish)
    2.Voluntary concerns (although, that only applies to Wisconsin, right?)
    4.Database and monopoly concerns (with WLIC)
    5.Enforcement concerns (fines and excessive force)

    In theory, a registration system of some sort would be incredibly beneficial, because outbreaks of disease that have the possibility of ruining small farms and are inevitable in the long run, they need to be contained as quickly as possible. But as it is it's hard to follow what your main problems are, or whether you're just opposed to the entire concept.

    •  The diary seem to be a unique combination (29+ / 0-)

      of a few legitimate concerns mixed with a liberal dose of both far right and far left paranoia . . . (not that that doesn't mean they're out to get you!)

    •  Diseases are more likely in CAFOs and feedlots (27+ / 0-)

      and yet the registration requirement will go all the way down to your pet chicken.

      It is more expensive and a hardship for small farmers to do this. Big operations, I've read but am not sure, have only to register once, their entire herds or flocks.

      The entire NAIS database, when fully enacted, is meant to be maintained by the private group National Cattlemen's Beef Association--more Big Ag, many of whom keep herds on public lands BTW.

      NAIS is not meant to protect us from disease--that is a subterfuge, especially when you look at the government's efforts to STOP TESTING for BSE by Creekstone Farms.

      One suspects the real motives are to, again, drive small farmers out of business by overwhelming them with fees and paperwork and depriving them of private property rights. When they can no longer afford to farm, Big Ag will buy up their land. Control, control, control.

      •  Yes, yes, and yes (15+ / 0-)

        And I might add, it won't even work as advertised when all is said and done.  BSE is already far more prevalent than reported.  When people start dropping like flies of "early-onset Alzheimer's," maybe somebody will take notice, but that's probably ten years down the road.

        If they want to make our food safer, the best solution would be to encourage small scale local farming.  Every time food changes hands, new vectors for disease are created. If you're buying from a farmer who lives up the road and slaughtered the meat himself, it's not changing hands too many times.

        •  Quick check reveals... (6+ / 0-)

          ...early-onset Alzheimer's is, indeed, on the rise.  Give it ten years.  I think it takes 10-20 years before BSE eats enough holes in the brain for symptoms to occur.

          •  We'd have to get some scientists to weigh in (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            martini, CharlieHipHop

            on any connection, but such a report would likely not ever reach the public in any authoritative way.

            •  of course not.... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marina, SnowCountry

              marina.... here is how to find out about the science directly.  Go to this site called PubMed. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...  They list 4000 plus journals.  Put in a key word and search.  read the abstract.  Use a medical dictionary for the hard words- I use one online.  

              Most articles point out we are now getting better at making the diagnosis.  Could it be an epidemic very similar to that of autism, with increases in diagnosis caused by recognition of symptoms otherwise overlooked?

              You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

              by murrayewv on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:15:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SnowCountry

                That looks like a great resource!

                •  The government is pushing for free journals..... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SnowCountry

                  this is the one thing I wish this country would do to advance the cause of science.  I assure you, scientists are not government clones- its like herding cats.  You will always find someone to question stuff- that is why some insist that HIV doesn't cause AIDS and there is no global warming.  But if you read review articles, they summarise the overall opinions of most scientists.  Even so, data will make people change their minds.  Like giving women estrogen- it was received wisdom, and then someone really studied it and found it wasn't good at all- doubled breat cancer risk.  People immediately stopped prescribing it.  Science is about data- and feeling like criticizing how the studies were done and doing them better.

                  You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                  by murrayewv on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 09:40:40 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But you leave off that the government, the FDA, (0+ / 0-)

                    kept that news from us for a long time because it was a loss to the pharmaceutical industry.  They allowed a lot of deaths.

                    Or how about intentionally flawed studies by the NCI?
                    http://www.naturalnews.com/...

                    Or decades to admit that Linus Pauling was right and the studies done to replicate his work were absurdly different (oral doses versus his IV treatments, for instance) but the NCI still used that to trash him.

                    http://www.prnewswire.com/...

                    Or how about the FDA's treatment of cherry growers?  
                    http://www.lef.org/...

                    Or of melamine?  http://www.naturalnews.com/...

                    Science is not just "data" but throughout history has been about influence and power and money and corruption as well.  Science during the NAZIS was used to promote racial hygiene.  That came directly from the Rockefellers promotion of eugenics.  

                    After years of saying that supplements had no value and had no right to say they could do anything of value (and people can face being shut down for saying they can), the FDA just changed into an Orwellian hat and now has just tried (maybe it is still going through) to push a regulation saying that if a supplement ever HAD any studies done on them to show they are effective, can not be transported across state lines.  

                    •  Most evidence..... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      SnowCountry
                      is indicating supplements increase cancer and heart attack risk, much more similar to the estrogen mythology.  I think a good, well rounded, diverse diet with a high amount of fiber, red, green, orange, blue and yellow vegies and fruits, sufficient water and lower fat is the best bet.  Avoid chemical pesticides though.

                      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                      by murrayewv on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 03:35:27 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Test for BSE - Tracking Won't Help (6+ / 0-)

          We currently test only a small percentage of cattle for BSE.

          The USDA actually prevented Creekstone Farm from testing all of its cattle for BSE. Creekstone Farm won the first round in court, but the USDA appealed the ruling and the appeal court sided with the USDA.

          NAIS will do nothing for BSE because the roots of it are probably in actions that took place before 1997. In 1997 regulations were changed so that cows were no longer being fed to cows. Since it is almost 2009, most of those cattle have already been eaten or have died of old-age. Regardless, NAIS would provide no historical information on cattle currently added to the tracking database.

          According to Dr. Clifford of the USDA, traceback for BSE provides very little relevant information:

          John Clifford, the US Department of Agriculture's chief veterinary officer, announced the end of the investigation into the Alabama case on May 2.

          The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) had been trying to learn since mid-March where the Alabama cow came from so it could trace other cattle that might have been exposed to the same feed the cow ate in early years. Cattle are believed to contract the disease by eating contaminated feed.

          "APHIS's investigation did not reveal the BSE-positive animal's herd of origin," Clifford said in a written statement. "However, this was not entirely unexpected due to the age of the animal, along with its lack of identifying brands, tattoos and tags. Experience worldwide has shown that it is highly unusual to find BSE in more than one animal in a herd or an infected animal's offspring."

          Link

      •  True, but... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        murrayewv, marina

        there are deer with cases of chronic wasting disease that comingle in fields with cattle and other animals, and that includes Wisconsin.

        While the largest percentage may come from CAFO's, the problem of one downer cow from a small Amish farm exposed to wasting disease is still of great concern since meat can be ground up and mixed with other meat and distributed widely as hamburger, contaminating the entire meat handling system at the same time.  TSE's aren't like other biological pathogens where disinfectants can be used to kill the agents; failing to track possible exposures is a huge burden on other meat producers should TSE's get introduced into the system.

        •  The issue of one downer cow (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marina

          mixed with 100,000 other animals is a huge concern.

          NAIS does nothing to end that or even add useful traceability, because that data is no longer attached to the carcass once it walks into the slaughterhouse. If they don't know now that a downer cow entered the slaughterhouse and was made into hamburger, how is knowing what farms the 100,000 cattle came from going to help?

          Indeed, what NAIS does is further reward economies of scale, centralizing meat processing and growing.

          We can do far more at the point of slaughter to ensure that the system isn't contaminated. Heck, perhaps the most important thing we could do would to decentralize our food system, so that we had more  and smaller slaughterhouses that did not mix so many cows together. Every time we implement a sensible sounding rule for more paperwork, more tracing, more sanitizing, we bias the system towards the larger operation... and what we see with the procedures today is that they aren't always followed very well. Individuals taking care often do better than industrial sanitization and assembly line processing done at the rate of a few seconds per animal.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:31:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you so much for this. And if you don't (0+ / 0-)

            mind my asking, how are you up on this since most people here know nothing about what is happening or how things really work?

            It's an uphill job to let the left know about something they have NO personal experience of and yet are somehow comfortable making pronouncements about what is needed.  

            I wish people would take time off and go find a real farmer who has animals and spend time talking in detail about what he is up against.  About how much he is already burdened by paperwork tracing his animals from birth to death, eartagging them, registering them, reporting all the vet visits, filling out paperwork with the vet, too, and then all the testing.  Or about asking the USDA to inspect for Mad Cow and having it refuse.

            The "food safety" argument by Cargill or ADM is so hollow, it's astounding that the left accepts it on face value.  It's like being told your car needs a new engine by the dealer while the mechanic is trying to take you aside and say it's a lie and the car is okay and just needs a tune up.  Who has the profit motive?  

    •  This is not just a registration of cows (12+ / 0-)

      this is an attempt to register and keep track of the where abouts of every animal - from chickens to dogs and horses. The radio id requirements will be a great financial hardship to small farmers across the country not to mention the requirements to track and report all movement of animals. If you can understand it, check out the No NAIS movement. It's not like just putting a collar on your cat - it's much much more.

      •  That's not true according to the NAIS site (3+ / 0-)

        they do not require the registration of dogs or cats or any pets, or any animals that do not leave the premises (e.g. pet chickens), or animals that go from the farm straight to the slaughterhouse. They need to register animals that do not go directly from the farm to slaughter, and this is not mandatory.

        I don't know what the Wisconsin law says though, but I understand they have made it mandatory which is a problem for small farmers.

        •  I will bet (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          martini, cville townie

          that big farm-as animals go straight from farm to slaughterhouse and they won't have to pay or be tracked.

          There are bagels in the fridge

          by Sychotic1 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:58:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You have it wrong. Every single farm (0+ / 0-)

            animal chipped and every single "premise" ID'ed.  And every single farmer in that situation subject to killing fines for the smallest infraction.
            http://www.opednews.com/...

            And when the USDA does wrong ....
            http://www.organicconsumers.org/...

            MAD SHEEP is the long-awaited story of a family farm destroyed by the USDA in its effort to protect beef industry sales from the threat of Mad Cow disease. It is an unforgettable chapter in the latter-day history of the family farm.

            Linda Faillace, scientist, farmer, wife, and mother of three tells the harrowing story of corruption, gun-toting federal agents, and heart-breaking loss with amazing clarity and skill.

            Though no sheep had ever contracted Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or "mad cow" diseases, the US government at the behest of the US beef industry decided to show the world that it was serious about preventing an outbreak of the disease in the United States. At first blush the connection between the Faillace operation and this governmental goal seem unrelated. They would remain so, even as the USDA began putting together a trumped up case against the Vermont operation. First, officials claimed there was a possibility the Faillace sheep had scrapie, a disease similar to BSE that infects sheep. They decreed that the sheep would have to be destroyed.

            But the Faillace's had documentation to show that their sheep came from scrapie-free flocks. Linda and Larry, scientists both, studied BSE and scrapie disease extensively while working at the University of Nottingham in England. They were able to present concrete evidence that it was impossible for their sheep to have BSE. But Linda Detweiler of the USDA - now working for McDonald's and Wendy's - and the agency she ran refused to budge. The Faillace sheep were slaughtered to prevent the spread of BSE in America .

            Larry and Linda Faillace dreamed of having a small dairy sheep farm where their children could work along side them and create a family business. They discovered a niche with high-yield dairy sheep from Europe. They carefully researched and untangled all the regulations regarding the importation of sheep and soon had a thriving entrepreneurial business. Then, one day, the needs of big business and government corruption colluded to bring their operation to a screeching halt.

            The USDA created a straw man to protect the beef industry‹that straw man was a family. This is their story.

            Linda Faillace worked as a secretary, store clerk, lab technician, song writer, piano teacher, and astrologer, before embarking on a career in sheep farming and cheese making. The Faillaces live in Warren , Vermont.

            Foreword to the Book by Ronnie Cummins, head of the Organic Consumers Association

            Warning: reading this riveting tale of good and evil will make you angry. After a few chapters, you will likely suffer from a deep sense of disillusionment and an uncontrollable urge to speak out or strike back. As this twisted and wicked pastoral unfolds, outrage after outrage, it will become increasingly clear that this is not just a tragic case of administrative bungling or faulty science on the part of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).

            What we are confronted with in Mad Sheep is a government conspiracy. A politically inspired ritual of fabricated charges, manipulated science, and doctored evidence. A modern witch-hunt to sacrifice the innocent in order to protect the massive profits and scandalous practices of the guilty. A diabolically orchestrated, media-scripted search and destroy operation in the Vermont countryside, designed not just to murder some innocent sheep and thereby exorcize mounting consumer fears about food safety and mad cow disease, but also to turn us all into sheep, to fan the flames of fear and ignorance, and to foster our continued dependence on an abusive Big Brother government that has promised to protect us from the contemporary terrors that lurk, well, nearly everywhere.

            In their highly acclaimed 1997 book, Mad Cow USA: Can the Nightmare Happen Here, John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton recount how they used a Freedom of Information Act investigation to pry loose secret planning documents from the beef industry and the USDA. These liberated documents included a "crisis management" plan for how to manipulate public perceptions and concerns surrounding a likely outbreak of mad cow disease in the United States. A central part of this plan was to keep quiet about the fact that leading experts on mad cow disease, such as Dr. Clarence Gibbs and Dr. Richard Marsh, had warned government officials as early as 1989 that a form of mad cow disease was likely circulating in U.S. cattle herds, and that the extremely risky, profitable practice of feeding blood and slaughterhouse waste to animals needed to be halted immediately.

            By the late 1990s, as scores of Europeans who had eaten contaminated beef from mad cows began dying from a fatal brain-wasting human disease called new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (nvCJD), USDA officials began to implement their crisis management plan. As wary Americans began to learn about mad cow disease and animal cannibalism and cut back on their beef consumption, something had to be done to restore consumer confidence. Since stopping the feeding of animals to animals and ordering universal testing of cows for mad cow were deemed serious threats to industry profits, the USDA's public relations specialists came up with diversionary tactics: round up imported livestock across the country and harass family farmers like the Faillaces, all in the name of preventing mad cow disease in America.

            Meanwhile the disinformation flacks at the USDA, aided by public relations firms and the news media, worked to sweep under the rug the alarming fact that U.S. corporate agribusiness was doing exactly the same thing that Europeans had been doing to spread mad cow disease‹feeding cattle, pigs, chickens, households pets, and deer and elk on game farms billions of pounds of blood, slaughterhouse waste, animal fat, and tainted manure every year.

            The Faillace's sheep were absolutely healthy and presented no risk whatsoever to the American public. But the Clinton and Bush administrations wanted a scapegoat. Never mind that the imported sheep on the Faillace farm had been quarantined and certified by European Union authorities as having never consumed slaughterhouse waste. Never mind that these sheep had been tested for scrapie, so-called mad sheep disease, and found healthy. Never mind that a breed of imported sheep on the Faillace farm, East Friesians, has never in recorded history suffered from a single case of scrapie. Scrapie has been endemic in U.S. sheep herds for decades, and as Stauber and Rampton point out in Mad Cow USA, the USDA has done little or nothing to help U.S. sheep farmers eradicate the disease.

            Blame Europe and a small group of stubborn Vermont sheep farmers for endangering public health, and maybe people wouldn't notice that American agribusiness had continued importing hundreds of millions of pounds of bargain-priced slaughterhouse waste from the UK for eight years after the outbreak of mad cow disease in 1989. Maybe people wouldn't notice that the 1997 FDA "feed ban" on feeding ruminants to ruminants is full of holes (allowing cattle blood, cattle fat, poultry manure and slaughterhouse waste from pigs and chickens to continue being fed to cows). Maybe consumers would forget that Europeans have boycotted U.S. non-organic beef and poultry‹routinely laced with antibiotics and hormones‹since 1988.

            As for those farmers and consumers who won't behave like proper sheep, who refuse to shut up and swallow the official story: harass and threaten them, seize their animals, ruin their reputations, and destroy them financially and psychologically.

            Linda and Larry Faillace, and their children, Jackie, Heather, and Francis, along with the Vermont consumer and farm activists who stood by them, are not only good shepherds, they are national heroes. USDA bureaucrats like Linda Detwiler, CDC bureaucrats like Lawrence Schonberger, indentured politicians, and their puppet masters behind the scenes‹the leaders of the corporate-industrial agriculture and pharmaceutical complex‹are the real offenders.

            After campaigning in the trenches for thirteen years to get the USDA and FDA to stop the hazardous feeding of billions of pounds of blood, slaughterhouse waste, and manure every year to farm animals, and to require mandatory testing of cattle for mad cow disease at slaughter, I had lost or repressed some of my anger and frustrations. But then I read this book, and like post-combat stress, a flood of memories rushed back.

            Hate mail arriving at my Washington office in 1993 along with a series of anonymous telephone death threats to my colleagues, just after we launched a national campaign against McDonald's and filed a legal petition to stop the feeding of animals to animals. A creepy ex-military intelligence agent provocateur who infiltrated our campaign and followed me around Washington, posing as a representative from the World Council of Churches. A private investigator in Wisconsin reporting that our office telephones were tapped, probably by the beef industry. A national news producer sheepishly apologizing to me for "alterations" in the script of a nationally televised ABC News story on mad cow disease that aired in 1997‹following what he described as a "call from the White House."

            And more. Fruitlessly petitioning the Centers for Disease Control to make the human equivalent of mad cow disease, Creutzfeldt- Jacob Disease (CJD), an officially reportable disease. Petitioning the CDC, again in vain, to require autopsies for a significant number of the 50,000 Americans who die every year from Alzheimer's disease, to determine whether they actually had CJD (CJD is often mistakenly diagnosed as Alzheimer's, because its symptoms are similar). Watching the Bush administration USDA blame the Canadians for our first mad cow cases, and shortly thereafter threaten a Kansas meat packer, Creekstone Farms, for the "crime" of wanting to test all of their cows at slaughter for Mad Cow disease.

            No wonder millions of Americans no longer trust the government or the media. No wonder millions of consumers are turning away from industrial meat and food and voting with their pocketbooks for healthy, sustainable, locally produced organic foods.

            But voting with our consumer dollars is not enough. The mad sheep battle described in these pages is not an isolated case. Armed with $90 billion in taxpayer money each year, the USDA is waging war against all of us‹consumers, family farmers, farm animals, and the environment. The direct and collateral damage of this war includes rampant water, air, and food pollution; an epidemic of cancer, birth defects, obesity, and hormone disruption; pollution by genetically engineered crops; an unsustainable, massive venting of climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases; pesticide and antibiotic contamination; proliferation of junk food; systematic exploitation of small farmers, farm workers, and slaughterhouse workers; and the dumping of millions of tons of subsidized crops and meat at below the cost of production on developing nations, thereby destroying the livelihoods of millions of small farmers and rural communities.

            It's time to follow the example of the Faillace family. It's time to stand up and fight, not only for ourselves, but also for future generations.

            Venceremos! We Shall Overcome! Ronnie Cummins Organic Consumers Association

        •  give them time n/t (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not an anarchist, but it would be good if people started realizing the difference between political propaganda and the truth. --John Lennon

          by o the umanity on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:06:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  They most certainly have said (0+ / 0-)

          all chickens. I would not be surprised, however,  if the latest draft regs have backtracked a little in response to the outcry.

          By "not leaving the premises" this means you may not move your chickens. Not to your neighbor when you go on vacation, even if the neighbor doesn't have chickens. Not to a veterinarian. Not to a fair. Not to a 4H meeting. Not to another parcel of land that you own.

          People keep chickens as pets, just as they might a cat or dog. Cats and dogs are excluded currently - and this IMHO is explicitly because they know people won't stand for it. But if you imagine applying this regulation to your dog, that is how it would affect others with some of their animals.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:36:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Great point that people should imagine if it were (0+ / 0-)

            done to their pets, and yet for most farmers, they feel that way about their animals.  They are aware that chipping causes cancer, too, and don't want to do that to their animals, in addition to their concerns about people's health if the animal has cancer from the chipping.

        •  Whose website? The USDA? The same (0+ / 0-)

          agency that says NAIS would be entirely voluntary and has altered that?  

          The same agency attacking independent dairy farmers across the country?
          http://www.counterpunch.org/...

          And the same agency (in each case using its state version) attacking organic coops with SWAT teams?
          http://www.campaignforliberty.com/...

          The USDA has jerked farmers around for the past few years about NAIS, telling one group on thing, telling another something else.  Farmers call  it Orwellian what the USDA is doing.

          http://www.westonaprice.org/...

      •  Plus, what is the cost of RFID? (0+ / 0-)

        RFID tags are cheap, but what is the cost of registration?

        •  Not Cheap for Horses (5+ / 0-)

          RFID chips for horses are implanted into their neck. It requires a veterinarian and sedation of the animal.

          According to my veterinarian, the procedure is not without risk. The site in the neck is very close to the spinal column. A chip that is inserted incorrectly or migrates from the implantation site could cause damage to the horse.

      •  Big Guys Get A Pass (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tacet, antirove, imabluemerkin, cynndara

        Jim Hightower wrote about this very issue a while back.  If you're a small guy, you have to ID tag EVERY animal, but if you're a big guy (like Tyson) who raises, slaughters, and packages product,  you get to register just the site, not each animal.

        Bye bye small farmers... the 'free market' in action again at it's ultimate best.

        •  Thank you for bring real information here. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JohnnySacks

          We really need for more people to come to Dailykos who have experience in any of this, so we don't have people just expressing their opinions not based on any real knowledge of how things work for farmers and what they are already doing.

          •  Awash In Information - Some Sticks (0+ / 0-)

            I really hate to say anything I'm not sure of because I detest liars and to a lesser degree, people who aren't informed regarding what they're loudly quoting as fact.  Therefore, I probably don't say as much as I'd like to say.  But a lot of these food related issues have stuck since reading (in jaw dropping awe) 'Fast food Nation', then 'Omnivores Dilemma', and the Hightower Lowdown newsletter for the past few years.  Jim Hightower drags a lot of nasty issues out from under the rocks under which their advocates have very carefuly hidden them.  Having been Sec AG in Texas, farming obviously holds a special place in his heart.

            This ID tagging issue is a goldmine for well connected techology companies, it adds a viciously unfair disadvantage to small farmers, and by encouraging and promoting large scale concentrated food production, actually makes our food chain MORE prone to deliberate attack and natural pathogens.  Yet it passes by almost as if it were as invisibly as the source of what we eat every day.

      •  I am so grateful to you and Efling. (0+ / 0-)

        Thank you.

    •  One problem is that it will not work (7+ / 0-)

      NAIS tracking information relies on the producers reporting movements within 24 hours. The animal id is a 15 digit number and the premise id is a 7 digit number. The numbers, a date, whether it is an exit movement or an entrance movements, that is what goes into the tracking database.

      A missing report or an incorrect report has the potential to impact a traceback. The erroneous data can put a mini-donkey with a contagious disease in the middle of a racetrack.

      For speed and accuracy, a computer system to read the chips and download the information via the internet to the private tracking databases is needed.

      According to a USDA pilot project, 70% of the producers in the south east, do not have computers or do not have internet access. A private study indicated about 50% of producers do not have computers.

      From internet polls (not statistically valid), about 90% of the respondents oppose NAIS.

      Do you want to put our food supply safety in the hands of those who cannot participate or detest the system? Or would you prefer the system that had been working in the past: port inspections, quarantines of imported livestock, state-level disease programs, state-level brand programs, emphasis on prevention instead of containment?

      •  You last is a good question. People don't know (0+ / 0-)

        the millions going into NAIS - with Digital Angel benefitting and other chipping corporations - while the USDA won't inspect.  What we need is to clean things up.    But the corporations which are not, which resist it, which are even now lowering contamination standards, are the ones pushing NAIS under the fake argument of "food safety."

        Why is it hard for leftists to see through that?

    •  Good comment... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, murrayewv, whitis

      This diary IS a little heavy handed on the paranoia.

      NAIS would be crucial in a situation like the British epidemic.  7 million +... 7 MILLION + cattle and sheep were slaughtered because they couldn't track and find the source animal(s).  It delayed elections, it canceled public outings, sporting events, holidays.  It destroyed small farmers, AND large farmers, and it devastated heritage farming in several areas.

      I own a small farm in NE Kansas that is managed for me until we retire.  I have NO issues with NAIS.  It will require me to tag approx. 60+ head of cattle.  NO problem if that tagging keeps my gorgeous, heritage, NOT COMMON cattle from being slaughtered wholesale because someone, somewhere in NE Kansas has an outbreak, but they don't know who.

      I understand the religious objections.  And I can make exceptions for them.  But I have no real issue with NAIS on a personal basis.

      Just my thoughts...

      SophK

      Some men weave their sophistry till their own reason is entangled. ~Samuel Johnson

      by sophistry makes me tired on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 01:44:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, one bad apple (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sophistry makes me tired

        can spoil the batch nationwide.    In recent memory, a batch of bad tomatoes and the whole tomato market shutdown (but produce is another can of worms).  Cost href="3.9 million in Georgia alone and href="00million in Florida.  NAIS is like insurance, more for the producer and meat packer than for the consumer.  The consumer eats chicken instead of beef, or vice versa (but pays higher prices due to scarcity).  Advancing Animal Disease Traceability has a little information on some outbreaks.  One estimate puts the cost of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease at a single feedlot at href="99 million in one state alone.  DHS has estimates in the billions.  England suffered a $5billion loss in 2001 with estimates of $20 billion in European losses to BSE.

        You can budget for NAIS costs.  Unpredictible costs can be a killer.    How much the NAIS program will cost and how much it will save, however, isn't clear.  There is also the issue of who bears what portions of the costs.

        I don't buy the argument about it just benefiting exporters, either.   If the export markets open/close that would affect domestic supply/demand.  

        Incidently, Australia's NLIS cost under AU$6/head by one analysis.  detail analysis.   NoNAIS's own data refutes their completely unsubstantiated claim of $37/head.  

        --
        -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

        by whitis on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 09:20:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My personal costs (0+ / 0-)

          per year are $2.57 per head.  FULLY acceptable, particularly as the cattle that ARE chipped bring consistently & significantly higher prices at auction, as they are assumed to be checked and healthier if you're willing to track them and take responsibility for them.

          Thanks for all the links. :)

          Cheers!

          SophK

          Some men weave their sophistry till their own reason is entangled. ~Samuel Johnson

          by sophistry makes me tired on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 02:02:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Let me ask it this way. (0+ / 0-)

        Suppose the government says to you that they want you to microchip your dog (at your expense) and every time he leaves your house, they want you to report that to a national database within 24 hours.

        Would you find that intrusive?

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:19:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would, (0+ / 0-)

          but NAIS does NOT ask this, in any way, shape or form.

          Remember, I've been complying with it, on a working farm, for nearly three years.  The ONLY animals that are tracked are those that leave the farm for auction or slaughter.  And then, ONLY those that go to an auction lot or slaugher lot.  Thise that are custom slaughtered, are NOT tracked or chipped.

          And again, the program is voluntary. :)

          Read up, it's all there.  The NAIS site is not lying.  If they were, I'd be in BIG trouble, as I follow the specific programs guidelines and am completely within compliance.

          Cheers!

          SophK

          Some men weave their sophistry till their own reason is entangled. ~Samuel Johnson

          by sophistry makes me tired on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 01:59:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The USDA is lying. It is not voluntary. (0+ / 0-)

            That's the point of the diary.  Emmanuel Miller is being sued by the State of Wisconsin for not complying.  Does that look voluntary to you?  Farmers in NC facing a drought couldn't get hay for their cattle unless they were registered.  People can't get into fairs unless they are and veterinarians are registering people against their will, making a special notation that they didn't "volunteer."

            It's as voluntary as something mandatory can be.

            From a lawyer who is an expert on NAIS, and a cattle rancher, too.

            http://www.westonaprice.org/...

            NAIS Update

            Update on the National Animal Identification System:
            What is Happening and What You Can Do

            By Judith McGeary

            In June, USDA published a "Guide for Small-Scale and Non-Commercial Producers." While this document is filled with feel-good statements that would lead many to think the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) will not apply to them, it is short on substance and is not consistent with USDA's other documents or actions. Rather, the USDA's plans for NAIS will still fall heavily on the small farmers who provide the nutrient-dense foods on which we all rely.

            The True Meaning of "Voluntary"

            The previous USDA NAIS documents are still in effect. USDA has not withdrawn its 2005 Draft Plan and Strategic Standards, nor the April 2006 Strategies for Implementation. When you read all these documents together, it is clear that NAIS is not a "voluntary" program. USDA is merely spin-doctoring, playing a misleading word game.

            The USDA has not adopted regulations making NAIS a mandatory program at this time, but that is only a temporary situation. The 2005 Draft Plan explicitly stated that the entire program--premises registration, animal identification, and animal tracking--was to become mandatory by January 2009. The 2006 Strategies document extended the timeline somewhat, but maintained that every animal owner in this country must participate: "To have a successful animal disease management program, all producers and affected industry segments will have to participate eventually." The USDA established a January 2009 deadline to have 100% of premises registered and 100% of all animals under the age of 1 year identified, with the remainder of the program to be phased in. The USDA also stated: "If participation rates are not adequate, the development of regulations through normal rulemaking procedures will be considered to require participation in certain aspects of the program." In other words, while there are no federal regulations at this time, USDA keeps the threat of such regulations hanging over our heads.

            Even now, NAIS is not a voluntary program. USDA is driving mandatory implementation by funding state NAIS programs with tens of millions of our tax dollars. Wisconsin and Indiana have already adopted regulations making premises registration mandatory. Other states are following their lead; Vermont has proposed regulations, while Pennsylvania is considering a statute. States all over the country are enrolling people in the premises registration program without those individuals' permission. And in contrast to USDA's assertion in this Guide that there are "no enforcement mechanisms or penalties," Wisconsin's regulations provide for revocation of licenses and penalties of up to $1,000 for failure to register, while the proposed Texas regulations included fines of up to $1,000 per day and even criminal penalties. To claim that NAIS is "voluntary" is contrary to the normal definition of this term. The USDA is redefining words in the tradition of George Orwell's 1984.

            Reporting Reality

            The USDA's Guide also seeks to downplay the onerous reporting requirements. Yet, as noted above, the Guide does not state that it supercedes the 2005 USDA documents, which set out the reporting requirements. The published Program Standards provided that a laundry list of "events" would have to be reported within 24 hours. Although the Guide provides a list of half a dozen specific scenarios for which reporting allegedly would not be required, these scenarios do not materially reduce the burden on small and non-commercial producers.

            The Guide creates one very minor exception to the list of reportable events for animals that are born on the property, never leave the property, and are taken off only for custom slaughter for personal consumption. In practical terms, this exception is meaningless. The vast majority of individuals who raise food for themselves buy young animals, such as baby chicks or weaned calves, from other sources. Maintaining a breeding herd or flock is expensive and time-consuming, and not feasible for most individuals to do just for personal consumption. And the exception explicitly does not apply to small farmers who sell even a few chickens or lamb to others. Thousands of people who consider themselves "small or non-commercial" producers buy and sell animals during their lives. This scenario is only relevant for government bureaucrats who have never raised their own food.

            Confusion and Contradiction

            The USDA's attempt to make people feel better about NAIS even leads it to contradict itself within the document. USDA states that "participation in local fairs and parades" will be exempt from reporting. But, elsewhere, USDA states that: "Reportable movements are those that involve a high risk of spreading disease, such as moving livestock from a farm to an event where a large numbers of animals are brought together from many sources." Local fairs and parades certainly bring large numbers of animals from many sources together! Along with not raising their own food, the USDA officials have apparently also never been to a local fair.

            How Do We Stop NAIS?

            Because of the way that USDA has structured its plan, we must fight NAIS at both the state and the national levels. The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the rights of farmers, ranchers, livestock owners, and homesteaders. We have joined forces with the Liberty Ark Coalition, a single-purpose coalition dedicated to defeating the National Animal Identification System. Together, FARFA and Liberty Ark have taken the lead in fighting NAIS nationally. We need everyone's help to be an effective voice in Congress and in each state.

            We worked with Congressman Ron Paul to introduce an amendment in the House of Representatives to cut off funding for NAIS. While the amendment failed, it provided the opportunity to educate Congress--for the first time--about the problems with NAIS. FARFA's work was even quoted on the floor of the House. It will take multiple battles to win this fight, but we have started to make our presence known nationally. In addition, Liberty Ark has been networking activists in over 20 states to help them effectively oppose NAIS at the state level.

            Each individual can do many things to stop NAIS. Educate your friends, local farmers, and consumers about what NAIS is and the need to take action. We have materials to help you do this--flyers, petitions, sample letters--on the citizens' action page at www.farmandranchfreedom.org. At the local level, ask your county and city officials to adopt a resolution opposing NAIS. Stay informed about what is happening by signing up for free emails at www.farmandranchfreedom.org/list/?p=subscribe. And take the pledge as a Liberty Ark supporter at www.libertyark.net so we can connect you with other activists in your state.

            Working together, we can protect our ability to raise and buy healthy foods from local farmers.

            About the Author

            Judith McGeary is the WAPF chapter leader for Austin, Texas, and is also an attorney and small farmer. She has a B.S. in Biology from Stanford University and a law degree from the University of Texas. After a clerkship with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, she practiced as an attorney in administrative law, litigation and appeals. She left her legal practice to form the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to lobbying on behalf of independent agriculture, representing both farmers and consumers. She and her husband live on a sustainable, pasture-based farm outside of Austin, with heritage poultry, sheep, cattle and horses. For more information,

            go to www.farmandranchfreedom.org or call 1-866-687-6452.

    •  Foot and mouth (0+ / 0-)

      is an interesting case study.

      Foot and mouth isn't generally fatal to the animals; they can recover. It's unpleasant and it causes weight loss.

      The problem is that nursing animals through it is expensive and time consuming. And it is very contagious.

      Humans hardly ever get it, not even from eating infected meat. They can carry it from farm to farm on their shoes... which in fact in many of these cases in the past turns out to be a primary vector - veterinary health inspectors going to healthy farms looking for sick animals, and spreading virus.

      There is a vaccination for FMD. But, the FMD test is an antibody test.... so if you vaccinate, your animals will test positive for FMD. Inconvenient, when that can cause a national panic.

      Countries want to be FMD free because that gives their ranchers the largest access to export markets. Since vaccinated animals test the same as infected animals, some countries won't accept them. It's an issue of economics.

      The slaughter in the UK was a tragedy. Bloodlines were lost and unique stock was threatened - in many cases in animals who showed no signs of sickness. Over 80% of the animals killed were not infected.

      NAIS doesn't prevent these tragedies - and I worry that it enables them even further. More animals will die needlessly. What we have implemented since that outbreak is various biosecurity measures - trucks and trailers driving through disinfectant, disinfecting shoes, in some cases a complete change of clothes for people entering the farm. These measures will do far more to halt the spread of a dangerous disease.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:17:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did you miss the forcing people to sign (0+ / 0-)

      away their land as collateral on the bailout?

      I think the problem is that most people in cities do not realize how ID'd and labeled and registered and re-registered and again registered animals already are.  Or that none go to slaughterhouses without detailed information of where they came from, or to fairs, or to auction or to anywhere else.  

      Are people missing that the data goes into a CORPORATE data bank?  Or that those promoting this caused the diseases and the USDA is not spending money on inspection or clean ups and is presently lowering contamination standards.  

      "Food safety" is being used with the left like terrorism is used on the right, to get the public to push for spying systems - NAIS and NSA-spying.  Both spying systems for our "safety" - and both pushed hard by the Bush administration - which doesn't mind nuclear contamination, pesticide contamination, etc. etc. but somehow is to be trusted to suddenly be sincere about your food?  

      Monsanto and Cargill and ADM are pushing this.  They are fine with CAFOs and with industrial feedlots, confined animals, filth and cruelty in slaughter houses, BGH, etc. etc. but suddenly you trust them on wanting food safety?  You trust them to run and oversee a global tracking system that our small farmers are frantic to prevent, one that removes all civil liberties?

      I thought the left's mantra was that fear can never be an excuse for the removal of civil liberties.  But fear of food makes it okay to strip them from farmers and give power to corporations and a terribly corporately corrupted agency?  Do you not see the hypocrisy?

      NAIS is totalitarian and will destroy what is left of our small farmers.  Some Amish have already sold dairy herds to escape this, some are considering leaving the country.  A farmer I know has quit breeding his animals and says he will euthanize his horses before he'd let them be chipped by corporations and the government.

      If you are okay with NAIS, then you need to be fine with NSA-spying - to be fair.  Only you'd have to be willing to pay for the spy equipment, maintain it at your own cost, do the paper work on everywhere you go, and pay astronomical penalties for any infraction - the first $1000 to $250,000, and the second - if you are not already finished off by that - $500,000.  If you are fine with that, then you have a right to inflict it on farmers.

  •  Uh oh, looks the Amish are finding (10+ / 0-)

    out what it's like to be a chemist in this country - if you're not a large corporation (or other organization), it's a no-go.

    Well good luck to them fighting The Beast.

  •  lotta stuff here (13+ / 0-)

    There's something that jumps right out at me though, scaredhuman--and it begs for a separate diary--please, pardon me, I don't want to seem to be going OT, but IMO, this is a key component of a bigger picture, and it does tie back to this mandatory registration of livestock:

    "When James Baker made his keynote speech in 1987, he stated that, "No longer will the World Bank carry this debt unsecured. The only assets we have to collateralize are federal lands and national parks."

    I have wondered for quite some time if "the National Debt" has been quietly being collateralized with our lands. So I'm coming away with, after reading this, that yeah, that's probably confirmed on some level--and today, it's not enough collateral.

    So now they're starting on the next round of tangible, useful collateral--homes and livestock.

    If I'm even in the ballpark, we are so fucked.

    I'm not an anarchist, but it would be good if people started realizing the difference between political propaganda and the truth. --John Lennon

    by o the umanity on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:16:27 AM PST

    •  this part didn't even make sense to me (10+ / 0-)

      Unless I've dozed off for years and years, first of all, this World Conservation Bank doesn't exist yet and honestly I have a hard time believing it will anytime in our lifetimes.  Second of all, while the World Bank's current loans are not secured by collateral, I don't for the life of me see how that has anything to do with this proposed organization.  Nor do I understand how a new institution could be created with this sort of collateralization of national assets to work on environmental things, or believe for a second the nations of the world would agree (and they would have to) to something of the sort being talked about.  This just seems entirely bizarre to me, to tell you the truth.

      (Sadly, in Kathmandu no longer.)

      by American in Kathmandu on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:52:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  World Bank (0+ / 0-)

        this seems to be separate from the section on the World Conservation Bank. Baker's quote references World Bank.

        Like I said, this portion deserves a separate diary.

        If the Monsantos of the world can push around, with impunity, a country of almost 300 million people and its attendant government, I would think that "other nations of the world" might not have a choice but to agree with whatever. I'd like to be wrong, of course.

        I'm not an anarchist, but it would be good if people started realizing the difference between political propaganda and the truth. --John Lennon

        by o the umanity on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:00:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  but then it doesn't make sense.. (4+ / 0-)

          there's a reason the World Bank loans aren't guaranteed by collateral.  And the World Bank is prohibited from providing any loans to countries above a certain income level by it's founding covenants.  It doesn't have the resources to do so if it wanted to, and even if the other member states who would have to agree to the change (which would imply enormous increases in their contributions if they're donors, and a deep reduction in what's avaiable to them if they're borrowers) by some miracle did so.  More confusing, since the US is a donor to the World Bank, not a borrower, nor does the World Bank have anything to do with anything in terms of US policy, or economic monitoring even (unlike the IMF which does provide certain reports on the status of the economy).  Therefore why the World Bank would care about any US policy, and even if they did care, why the US would care what they think since they get zero funding from them doesn't make sense to me.  

          The only way that snipped line makes sense is if Baker is refering to the creation of the new body the story goes on to talk about, and says that unlike the resources the UN sister organizations provide that are uncollateralized, the sheer HUGE size we would be talking about if rich countries were included in this body, and it was tasked with the kind of complexity the story goes on to describe (all of which makes the likelihood of it ever existing infinitely small in my mind), that of course it could not function with the same terms that the WB and IMF now provide.
           

          (Sadly, in Kathmandu no longer.)

          by American in Kathmandu on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:11:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  the key word in my original post is (0+ / 0-)

            "quietly":

            I have wondered for quite some time if "the National Debt" has been quietly being collateralized with our lands.

            The World Bank may be prohibited in its charter (or wherever its rules are enumerated) from accepting collateral, but who's to say they're not doing so anyway? There's prohibitions in the American Constitution, but you don't see them being enforced to the letter.

            I'm not an anarchist, but it would be good if people started realizing the difference between political propaganda and the truth. --John Lennon

            by o the umanity on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:25:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  this is just not credible.. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kalmoth, murrayewv

              why on earth would developing countries pay such collateral "quietly"?  Why would all the staff of such organizations, many of whom are from those same developing countries "quietly" agree and not slip the documents out.  Their documents are publicly available - why do we not see these changes?  And if they're slipping phony documents, why wouldn't someone blow the whistle on that?  

              Why would its Board of Directors and shareholders -- the hundreds of member nations, who are required to approve projects, and any changes to such procedures and regulations as you're talking about, agree to such a thing?  You don't think Venezuela's Finance Ministry under Chavez would have had a fit at such an idea?  Or Ecuador's?  I guarantee about the time that institution asked either country for a super-secret collateral on a loan it would have made the front page of every newspaper in the hemisphere.  And why on earth would the World Bank, already a preferred creditor that sees virtually no defaults, ask for collateral when there's no need for it?  

              There's plenty to criticize in the multilateral banks and IMF, but honestly, we do ourselves no favors in bringing about necessary changes when we go off on flights of the ridiculous, IMHO.

              (Sadly, in Kathmandu no longer.)

              by American in Kathmandu on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 09:45:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Just throwing this into the mix: (8+ / 0-)

            Rich countries launch great land grab to safeguard food supply

            The Great Land Giveaway: Neo-Colonialism by Invitation

            Already, the rich nations are buying up arable lands:

            According to diplomats, the Saudi Binladin Group is planning an investment in Indonesia to grow basmati rice, while tens of thousands of hectares in Pakistan have been sold to Abu Dhabi investors.
            ......
            Even China, which has plenty of land but is now getting short of water as it pursues breakneck industrialisation, has begun to explore land deals in south-east Asia. Laos, meanwhile, has signed away between 2m-3m hectares, or 15% of its viable farmland. Libya has secured 250,000 hectares of Ukrainian farmland, and Egypt is believed to want similar access. Kuwait and Qatar have been chasing deals for prime tracts of Cambodia rice fields.

            Eager buyers generally have been welcomed by sellers in developing world governments desperate for capital in a recession. Madagascar's land reform minister said revenue would go to infrastructure and development in flood-prone areas.

            So it's not inconceivable what the diarist posits.

            When you think about it, the way our economy is going, the dollar will lose all value, so we'll be the biggest debtor. People are being drained of all resources and left homeless by subprimes, thus reducing their ability to self-determine their future. We already have a mindset to imprison millions of our citizens for little reason, it's not a stretch to imagine putting us back to work via a new CCC which has us growing our food ourselves with human labor when oil is in short supply, or unaffordable because the dollar is no longer the reserve currency.

      •  Yeah, me too (3+ / 0-)

        It really seemed to get into tin-foil-hat territory with the references to UN organizations and definitions of "premises" as "tenement" and registering as tantamount to "grant[ing] warrantless searches, fines and forfeitures" and "signing away his land as collateral on the bailout."

        "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by jrooth on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:56:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You really don't help the legitimate case (18+ / 0-)

    Against NAIS by tying it to the tinfoil "FOURTH WORLD WILDERNESS CONGRESS" blockquote.



    Shoes are the new pie.

    by ben masel on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:18:58 AM PST

    •  Well, that would be a reasonable thought (12+ / 0-)

      except:

      Under NAIS, the next steps after premises registration will be mandatory RFID (radio frequency identification) chipping and government tracking of all livestock movements.

      and

      Other concerns in Wisconsin ... is [sic] that the system is not maintained by state government, but instead relies upon the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) to maintain the database of Premises ID registrants. This is currently continuing with the RFID tagging database as well. The WLIC is a private interest group made up of Big Agribusiness, including Cargill, Genetics/Biotech Corporations, like ABS Global, and RFID, tagging companies such as Digital Angel, and many of these members parallel NIAA membership. There are also in fact only 6 RFID tags that are approved by WLIC/NAIS at this time: 2 manufactured by Allflex, 2 by Digital Angel, one by Y-Tex and 1 by Global Animal Management. All four are WLIC members.

      and

      NIAA includes Monsanto

      It's not like this diary is sourced with bullshit from Prison Planet. I grow weary of "tinfoil" charges when some of this kind of dot-connecting makes absolutely perfect sense.

      I'm not an anarchist, but it would be good if people started realizing the difference between political propaganda and the truth. --John Lennon

      by o the umanity on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:30:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've read this diary twice. I'm still not sure (20+ / 0-)

    about something that feels kind of important.

    What does NAIS do, or require, exactly?

    and...

    Why is tagging an animal with an id chip an affront to Amish religious principles?

    I'm convinced there is something here, but it may take me a few days to get through the links and reread the diary again. I intend to do that, I'm not just grousing.

    I also thought I'd be better informed when I do if I asked these two questions first.

    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

    by elropsych on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:24:56 AM PST

    •  Tips for doing the work (8+ / 0-)

      to ask informed questions.

      I love that about you.  And your sig line. Extra snaps for the great sig line.

      Subverting the dominant paradigm every chance I get. And I get a lot of chances.

      by Casey Morris on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:31:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are too kind. I got that quote from a Krugman (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth, RiaD

        article about something or other a while ago. It really resonated with me; as a teacher of students who sometimes more represent its second half than its first half. Even though, with a few of my students, I get "wild words" and "unthinking" simultaneously! Thankfully, though, not too often.

        Props to yours, too, though. Now that I look at them, they kind of speak to each other, don't they?

        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

        by elropsych on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:31:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  My impression echoes elropsych's (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Urizen, Catesby, Elvis meets Nixon, I

      Tagging livestock is a measure that can help greatly in tracing contagious or dangerous animal diseases to a source, which is vital to containing the outbreak.  In order for tagging to be useful, there has to be a location on file to which the tags can refer.  So, to that extent, I support what USDA is doing.

      However, I also know that USDA is prone to cut corners when it comes to implementing a law and meeting its requirements. I'm aware of the influence wielded by big agribusiness (which supplies many of the agency's top officials) and of the agency's poor record of acting constructively on bioterrorism issues.  So, I'm inclined to be sympathetic to the author on those points.

      Finally, I'm appreciative of the wisdom of Mennonite farmers who perpetuated their time-tested farming methods while the rest of the world rushed off indulge in the supposed glories of high-tech agriculture.  Hopefully, the next Secretary of Agriculture will make a better effort to find a solution that protects all of these interests in a thoughtful, humane and Constitutional way.

      •  Tagging shouldn't be mandatory... (12+ / 0-)

        ...and neither should eating big-agro factory food.  That's what this is all about.

        If I buy my meat from a local farmer and my family gets sick, it's pretty obvious where the problem lies. The whole problem is our far-flung (and completely unsanitary, inhumane) system of food production and distribution.  The great irony here is that they are trying to force everyone into that system.

        Anyway, what happens if the problem does not get discovered until after the meat is consumed?  You trace it back to the slaughterhouse, and maybe they can identify the farm -- same as now, pretty much.  It's not like the RFID tags are embedded in your steak.  

      •  See my comment above (12+ / 0-)

        here.

        This diary and others about these issues have been derided as being fear mongering and hysterical; but often the objectors are simply not familiar with the issues, which are are complex and require a ton of study just to catch up. And the interest in the Farm Bill and agriculture in the larger nonfarming population seems to me to be a recent phenomenon, in part related to the Chinese food scandals. But between farmers, scientists, and other citizens, we ought to be able to form a cogent and rational approach to agriculture that doesn't again concentrate power in the hands of a few to the detriment of the many.

        Here are a few issues:

        1. Private property rights--freedom  of religion may be a convenient distraction from the property rights violations NAIS would involve for all farmers, not only the religious.
        1. If the program is really about disease control, why is USDA fighting Creekstone Farms from willingly testing all of its cattle?
        1. Increased paperwork and expense to small farmers in registering every animal. Every chicken. (I have read, but I could be wrong, that Big Ag, dealing in huge lots of livestock, would be allowed to register whole herds or flocks instead of individual animals. Somebody please chime in here if you know the facts.)
        1. NAIS databases being "maintained" by private organizations involved with Big Ag and other huge corporate interests.

        There is a lot of conspiracy stuff out there, but in my experience much of it is not too far off the mark.

        State and federal agriculture programs have been backing the moves to deprive local officials across the country of the authority to regulate CAFOs and similar potential agricultural polluters. I've recognized the trends, but only recently realized that our public officials were actively advocating against local governments in favor of big operations. Now whether this is a Bush-era inspired position or goes farther back, I find it troubling and a conflict of interest.

        •  You raise some good points, marina (6+ / 0-)

          I have not delved into the NAIS issues in great depth, so I am keeping my comments very general, at this point.

          I agree with you that the system is unfairly weighted in favor of the big processors and factory farms.  I have personally seen USDA use the terrorism threat as an excuse to harass opponents of big agribusiness.  The Creekstone Farms decision was, as you note, hypocritical and grossly anti-consumer. And, I am concerned that private organizations are keeping the databases (per your comment).  Creating massive databases on US citizens and putting them in private hands where oversight is minimal or non-existent has been a recurring problem in the Bush administration.

          Despite those concerns, it is still desirable, I think, to know where our food comes from.  What is needed are more sensible, equitable and cost-effective solutions for getting to that goal.

        •  This diary desperately needs to be edited. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kalmoth, marina
          It is rambling and tremendously unclear.  I read it twice, and I see no material at all related to some of the points brought up, specifically how NAIS violates religious principles.

          The diarist does a poor job of MAKING HIS POINTS.

          Thesis.  Support.  Thesis.  Support.

          There are at least three actual diaries in here.  "RICO is the wrong tool to choose for this case".  "NAIS is a bad idea, off target for it's stated goals, and implemented badly".  "USDA is not serving constituents and that will not change under Vilsack".

          The diarist writes none of those diaries coherently.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:32:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The subjects seem unrelated (0+ / 0-)

            but with so many interconnections and complexities, it's hard to keep from drawing some pretty disturbing conclusions about a variety of issues. And hard to present them simply so that those who have not been so involved with them can catch up quickly.

      •  The single most important thing that (5+ / 0-)

        could be done for food safety is to test slaughter cows for Mad Cow.
        USDA will not do that, it's so simple that they have prohibited those who WANT to test, from testing.
        NAIS makes big bucks for Agri-biz, crushes the little guys.
        Most cows are already tagged, and can be traced through the livestock yards at which they were sold.
        I occasionally work for a vet in Va. I often fill out the transport forms when cows are being moved out of state. They're all tagged, and documented.

        •  Thanks, emmasnacker (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emmasnacker

          It would be wonderful if you would write a diary providing your insights, in more detail, from the field.  NAIS is not run by the agency where I previously worked (FSIS), so I didn't receive much information on it.  I do know that it's not enough to know what a federal law or policy is supposed to do, but also to see how it is actually applied in the field and and how it may conflict with or overlap other processes.  That is where contributions from the Daily Kos community would be very helpful to the national debate.

      •  I too am interested to know more (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marina, elropsych

        But I would prefer a neutral source.  If I went to the agribusiness coalition's website about NAIS, I'd probably be convinced it was the best thing to happen to agriculture in a century.

        •  I agree. But after going back and forth with my (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marina, RiaD, bluebuckaroo

          father-in-law about O'Reilly, Hannity, Beck, et. al. with my Olbermann, Colbert, Stewart, Moore, and Goodman I've come to accept a variety of non-neutral sources as the new norm in my life.

          My skills at sussing out some kind of truth from a variety of "interested" reports and parties has skyrocketed after I discovered that there are very, very precious few uninterested sources available anymore.

          And this one had more information than many similar efforts I've seen recently.

          Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

          by elropsych on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:47:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Critical reading is good (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus, raines, marina

            But it requires some level of domain knowledge to know when somebody's not being quite truthful.  Because I don't know the ins and outs of farming, I really can't make a lot of critical judgments on the information I read on this issue.

            I have seen a lot of inaccurate information thrown around on the anti-NAIS side about RFID tags, however.  That doesn't give me a lot of confidence in the other information that I can't identify as accurate or inaccurate.

            •  Last time this turned up (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elfling, marina

              I went looking.  There is information on the program on virtually every state agriculture department site, and many concerned with small farming and marketing.

              One thing I noted was that the official websites UNIVERSALLY declared that the program was voluntary and that there were no plans for it to ever be anything but voluntary.  That was barely a year ago.  Now we have an Amish farmer being taken into confiscation proceedings for not "volunteering". Therefore, I see prima facie evidence that government information in this matter is being distributed with deliberate intent to deceive.
               

              •  I believe you, cynndara (0+ / 0-)

                It's too easy to read nonthreatening words on a website. Those entries are written to mollify and to appear nonpolitical. But figuring out what's between the lines, digesting it with what we already know, and discovering where the power will accumulate, all point to disturbing conclusions.

        •  There are many links (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, RiaD

          both pro and con. Just search NAIS, National Animal Identification System.

          You will have to read both sides and in between to figure out the connecting threads and the reasons people are upset and yes, hyperbolic about the issue.

          This is an issue that is complex, and if you're just now dropping in, it is confusing because of all of the connections and patterns within our ag policies.

          If you read previous diaries on the issue--search tags for NAIS or Big Ag--you can get some clear background on it, probably by Orange Clouds or shirah for instance.

      •  Thank you! And I found this... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        furi kuri, marina, RiaD, I

        comment, which made me smile:

        More government never solves anything-rather the reserve,in fact.

        One of the cutest, probably unintentionally, ironic statements I've read in a long, long time.

        Am I wrong to think of this as a very interesting intersection of conservative anti-government philosophy and liberal local-food philosophy?

        It seems the only people this program really helps are those with enough mass produced thousands of head of cattle (etc...) to want to enter international markets.

        Still not sure about the religious concern, though...

        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

        by elropsych on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:41:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And for a Pollan overview of our food system (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marina, RiaD, martini
    •  Maybe someone from the religious community (0+ / 0-)

      could answer this better. However, my understanding is that in the time of Caligula there was a requirement that no animal could be sold or purchased without the mark. That is where market comes from and the mark was controlled by Caligula as a means to control the food supply.

      I see it as a religious objection that is tied to a warning against the abuse of government power.

  •  Okay, I have to wonder how many of the people (35+ / 0-)

    who recommended this diary understood what it's about. It took me 10 minutes reading to figure out that this is a breathless diatribe against ear-tagging cows (which, if you eat beef at all and you're worried about BSE, you shouldn't dismiss quite so easily).  Couched in ridiculous hyperbole ("most TERRIBLE day in the history of U.S. farming", "life and death for American farmers") and garnished with some gratuitous and completely unrelated jibes at Vilsack and the Clintons in the introduction, this thing has the crap rec'ed out of it by attention-deficient and caffeine-starved Kossacks - too darn funny.

    An Ceiling Cat rode invisible bike over teh waterz (cskendrick)

    by brainwave on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:32:19 AM PST

    •  I've done so (5+ / 0-)

      even though (as I note upthread) there's a lot here, and some of it could, clearly, be edited, and/or pulled into a separate diary.

      All of it is important, and there's some interesting dot-connecting going on. Worth a re-read, just for the bits about WLIC, let alone NAIS.

      I'm not an anarchist, but it would be good if people started realizing the difference between political propaganda and the truth. --John Lennon

      by o the umanity on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:37:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Caffiene starved? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brainwave, csquared, itzik shpitzik

      More like caffiene fueled, if I had to bet.

    •  Obviously you don't know what you are talking abo (9+ / 0-)

      They want radio ids on ALL animals. So, if I raise 250 chickens a year to sell locally, I have to id all those birds. If my kid shows animals at 4-H, they all have to be id's and any movements they make have to be reported. If my neighbor likes to participate in area gymkhanas, she has to report all her movements to the gov. This will be a major expense to small farmers, another way to get them out of the business. Then who will provide your food? Monsanto, ADM and ... well, it won't be Farmer Joe 15 miles away, you can be sure of that. Get yourself educated.

      •  Obviously (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, rsquire, Argyrios, csquared

        I actually grew up on a farm. Have a nice day.

        An Ceiling Cat rode invisible bike over teh waterz (cskendrick)

        by brainwave on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:36:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You can't tell (7+ / 0-)

          you grew up on a farm from your comments.

          I have 8 pet chickens.  There's no way I'm putting radio transmitters on them and keeping paperwork about all their movements.  It's ridiculous.

          Many people in my area have a few chickens or a couple of goats, or both.  Nobody is going to do this.

          With everything our government needs to be working on right now, including major farming and food safety issues, how does spending ANY time or money on this make sense?

          •  "All their movements" (0+ / 0-)

            How often do you take your 8 pet chickens somewhere off your property?

            With everything our government needs to be working on right now, including major farming and food safety issues

            It seems that is exactly the purpose of this program, whether or not it's implemented well.

            •  Sometimes they take themselves off! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elfling, cynndara

              Not often for mine because all but one are penned, but in the area I live in, you're quite likely to have someone's chicken wander onto your property from time to time. It's more a case of going through a bunch of government paperwork (and the associated fees) any time I want to add a hen, or if one of them dies, or if I give a pet rooster to my neighbor, or hatch some eggs.  It's a waste of time and money and serves no useful purpose.

              We're lucky to get people around here to license their dogs, much less a chicken.  

              It's a useless, silly, unworkable idea.  If they focused on major factory farms, they'd have much better luck, but on the other hand, if the government really wanted to improve the food supply and prevent disease, they would test more food.  Most of the recent major outbreaks have been problems with vegetables.  Maybe they should put tracking devices on spinach.

              •  We said the same (0+ / 0-)

                in 1980, when Nancy Reagan unveiled her "Just Say No" campaign as a prelude to the War on Drugs.  The general reaction in the college community was "Get a grip.  You can't go back to 1940 by wishing it."  But then came two decades of repression and piss-testing and government funded wars and torture in South America to destroy the major suppliers.

                You can't ignore moves to limit ordinary freedoms and assume they'll just go away.  After forty years of watching this kind of thing, I have to say, they almost never do.  Instead, they get just a LEETLE bit worse year by year, until you end up expecting things like, well, undercover cops in high schools, for instance, as a "normal" state of affairs.

            •  Our chickens (0+ / 0-)

              go to 4H meetings, to fairs, possibly for a show-and-tell, and I sometimes take them to someone else's house if we're going to be gone for an extended period of time.

              Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

              by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:49:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Radio transmitters on chickens are not (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Treg, Argyrios, csquared

            a serious possibility. All we're talking about are tags with ID numbers registered in a national data base. Helps prevent the spread of bird flu. I understand some of the concerns about too much government bureaucracy, but I do agree that the protection of consumers and - in the case of preventing a bird flue pandemic - all of us requires some amount registration.

            An Ceiling Cat rode invisible bike over teh waterz (cskendrick)

            by brainwave on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:50:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  You grew up on a farm, but (0+ / 0-)

          do you know what's happening there now? Was it a big or small farm? Did you produce stuff for local consumption or was it a "factory food products" farm? Things have changed in the past few years. Go back and talk to your old neighbors.

      •  For the record (9+ / 0-)

        RFID tags are incredibly inexpensive and easy to install.  It takes a matter of a few seconds per animal.  I've seen it done a bunch of times on domestic animals at my local pet shelter.

        And RFID tags don't allow tracking at a distance.  They're a short-range information-carrying system like a barcode.

        Is the hassle of filling out a form saying "I'm taking animals 16-B4, 27-E9, and 19-C3 to show at 4-H" really that great?  I guess my question is--do you have to fill out this form and then wait for approval, or can you do it without approval so long as you file the paperwork?

        •  LOL! Ask a farmer! (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          catjo, RiaD, Loonesta, o the umanity

          Remember, a "small farmer" could be one who has 300 cows, as opposed to thousands.

          Also remember that farmers work from before dawn until after dark, way after dark during harvest.

          And that many farmers and/or their spouses also work off the farm at nonfarm jobs to make ends meet, then come home and work the farm as well.

          And there's your dinner.

          •  OK? (4+ / 0-)

            RFID tagging takes literally seconds per animal.  You stick a little bead into an injector, poke it into the skin beween the shoulder blades, squeeze the plunger, and pull it out, and you're done.  So with only a couple people working, your 300 cows (and 1000 chickens and 200 hogs and whatever) could be tagged in a day.

            And nothing that you've just described involved taking any animals off-premises.

            So what does that have to do with my comment?

            •  Expense. Paperwork. Time. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wbr, cynndara

              Not to mention the violation of your private property rights.

              Did I mention that farmers already work work nearly 24/7/365?

              •  So I say again... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wbr, sophistry makes me tired

                ...RFIDs are extremely cheap.  On the order of a couple cents per chip.  Where is the burden of the expenses?

                The paperwork is only necessary when you take animals off your premises--how often does that happen?  That is the honest question I'm asking.  How burdensome is this regulation, when you only have to fill out paperwork any time you take your animals somewhere not on your farm?  Does that happen often?  Are we talking a daily basis, weekly, monthly, a few times a year?  And are you required to wait for approval, or is it only a declaration that does not need to be approved?

                And how does the burden weigh against the advantage of being able to track animals from birth to plate, and the public benefit of being able to more quickly and precisely locate the source and vector of tainted food?

                Property rights are not inviolable, we already have lots of regulations in place for individuals and all types of industries that violate private property rights, so long as the burden is outweighed by the public good.

                •  It goes too far (0+ / 0-)

                  If there's probable cause or compelling interest for an intrusion into someone's privacy, that's one thing. But I can tell you that most farmers already find the government way too intrusive. Farmers are inundated with paperwork from the government and other sources.

                  You would have to look at the program more. It is more complicated than you think.  Here is an older diary with info on NAIS requirements. Some of it may have changed, I don't know. But there's certainly a lot on the web if you care to search for it.

                  •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    marina, sophistry makes me tired

                    However, the information presented in the diary you linked is not at all correct, at least based on the information currently available in the NAIS documentation.  Emphasis mine.

                    By January 1, 2008, the NAIS will be mandatory.  (Plan, pp. 2, 10, 17.)

                    The NAIS is voluntary at the Federal level.  States may make it mandatory, but at that point it is an issue to take up with the State and not the Federal government.

                    Every person who owns even one horse, cow, pig, chicken, sheep, pigeon, or virtually any livestock animal, will be forced to register their home, including owner's name, address, and telephone number, and keyed to Global Positioning System coordinates for satellite monitoring, in a giant federal database under a 7-digit "premises ID number."  (St., pp. 3-4, 10-12; Plan, p. 5.)

                    Latitude/longitude are only required when the premises does not have an address, and it's certainly not for "satellite monitoring."  And of course saying that people will be "forced" suggests the program is mandatory, when it is not.

                    The fears about a "giant federal database" are unfounded--databases are simply locations where data is kept in an organized fashion.  Every government agency uses them to function.  Every government program that we support--Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, the new Federal health-care plan, food stamps, the IRS, you name it--requires a database to function.  But when you say "giant federal database," people get scared.

                    Every animal will have to be assigned a 15-digit ID number, also to be kept in a giant federal database.  The form of ID will most likely be a tag or microchip containing a Radio Frequency Identification Device, designed to be read from a distance.  (Plan, p. 10; St., pp. 6, 12, 20, 27-28.)

                    The identification is not required to be RFID, that is only one suggested technology.  There are a set of minimum requirements for the identifying tag, and a simple ear tag with the animal's AIN on it will suffice, no RFID required.  The cattle working group has suggested RFID ear tags because they make things easier and faster than just listing the number.

                    As for "designed to be read from a distance," that depends on your definition of "distance."  Using the most sensitive and powerful detectors available, the maximum range for reading a passive RFID is something like 600 feet--and this has a chance of burning out the RFID tag itself.  For most scanners it's closer to 30 feet or less.

                    The plan may also include collecting the DNA of every animal and/or a retinal scan of every animal.  (Plan, p.13.)

                    These are "supplemental identification" and are purely at the preference of the owner/producer.  The idea is that if someone removes the primary ID tag from your animal somehow (like removing the eartag/RFID from your cattle), the animal can still be identified as yours.

                    The owner will be required to report:  the birthdate of an animal, the application of every animal's ID tag, every time an animal leaves or enters the property, every time an animal loses a tag, every time a tag is replaced, the slaughter or death of an animal, or if any animal is missing.  Such events must be reported within 24 hours.  (St., pp. 12-13, 17-21.)

                    "The instructions on how to report animal movements will vary depending on the animal tracking database (ATD) chosen by the producer.  If producers elect to participate when the ATDs become operational, they are encouraged to have reportable movements reported within 24 hours or by the close of the next business day."

                    Third parties, such as veterinarians, will be required to report "sightings" of animals.  (St., p. 25.)  In other words, if you call a vet to your property to treat your horse, cow, or any other animal, and the vet finds any animal without the mandatory 15-digit computer-readable ID, the vet may be required to report you.

                    Nothing like this appears in the documentation.  Apparently "sightings" were listed in the 2005 Draft Program Standards but are no longer included as part of NAIS.

                    And there's more of the "required" stuff above, of course.

                    If you do not comply, the USDA will exercise "enforcement" against you.  (St., p. 7; Plan, p. 17.)  The USDA has not yet specified the nature of "enforcement," but presumably it will include imposing fines and/or seizing your animals.
                    There are no exceptions -- under the USDA plan, you will be forced to register and report even if you raise animals only for your own food or keep horses for draft or for transportation.

                    "Participation in NAIS is voluntary at the Federal level.  There are no Federal penalties or enforcement mechanisms associated with the program.  USDA believes that measures of this nature are simply unnecessary."

                    As a matter of fact, the more I read about this, the more it seems that the problem is not NAIS, it's the states who are making the program mandatory.  And even then, the five states listed in the diary are only requiring premises registration.  If you register your premises with NAIS, you are not required to participate in the animal tracking part of the program.

                    •  Thank you... (5+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kalmoth, marina, wbr, Habitat Vic, kuronekoyama

                      I'm willing to bet that few, if any, folks on this comment list are actually farming.  I am, and NAIS does NOT impact me detrimentally.

                      The whole point of NAIS is NOT to tag and track your fucking pet chicken, it's to track animals that are INTENDED for auction and eventually slaughter.

                      See http://en.wikipedia.org/...
                      for what happens when a country experiences a non-trackable outbreak that requires 7 MILLION animals to be destroyed.

                      Out of 100 head, I am required to tag ONLY those that will be sold at auction - That is what off premises/animal movement means!  Not walking your fucking dog or pet chicken.  This is approx 60 at any given time.  Breeding animals, "pet" animals, heritage animals, etc. are not tagged nor required to be.  My farm dogs are not required to be tagged, my chickens for personal use are not required to be tagged, etc.

                      Nightmare scenario: Without NAIS, if I sell a diseased animal to auction it goes like this: First, it's packed into a transport truck with a few dozen other animals of equally indeterminate origin.  MY diseased animal infects ALL of the transport animals of the way to the holding pens for auction.  The animal in the holding pens who shows symptoms first is likely the carrier, but without NAIS, there's no way of knowing WHERE it came from of the dozens if not hundreds of cattle now in the holding pens.  At that point, the entire area that had cattle picked up by the transport truck(s) needs to be quarantined.  Not one farm, the entire area.  Perhaps the entire state.  WITH NAIS, the chip in the infected symptomatic animal would be run through the database, and the affected FARM would be quarantined.

                      Just because the Britain situation has not yet happened here is NOT a proof of our superior farming practices or abilities, it's dumb, fucking, luck.

                      It costs me literally pennies to tag my cattle, and if one ever comes up diseased and my farm is quarantined or slaughter required, I have insurance for that.  But it could wipe me out financially if my farm was included in a county-wide, state-wide, nation-wide, lock down and wholesale slaughter - The insurance coverages for unknown origin disease is not nearly as comprehensive.  Me, and every other farmer working.  Not to mention the insurance claims fallout, etc.

                      I just wish people would read the frickin' thing and stop claiming that your pet chicken will have to be tagged.

                      AARRGGHHH!

                      SophK

                      Some men weave their sophistry till their own reason is entangled. ~Samuel Johnson

                      by sophistry makes me tired on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 02:12:37 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Can I ask what state you live in? (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        marina, sophistry makes me tired

                        And what the details are on your mandatory participation (if the participation is mandatory, your post suggests it is)?

                        •  Kansas is where our farm is located. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          marina

                          Participation is NOT mandatory.  It is wholly voluntary, both on the Federal level AND the state level.

                          Kansas has already used RFID for cattle tracking for years.  This allows those of us who participate easy access and easy conversion to the system.

                          Cost to implement is minimal.  I spent $1500 total 3 years ago.  New births requiring chips (not all of them, only those intended for auction) cost .80 for the chip.  Chipping can be done at a rate of one head per 30 seconds in a chute.  The money I get for leasing 40 acres to the state for conservation use far MORE than paid for my initial investment, and the yearly cost is near nil in the grand scheme of things.

                          I have a single reader.  Cattle who are going to auction are walked through the gate containing the reader.  A pen drive/flash drive is used to collect the data (You can also use a Blackberry/PDA).  A single upload to the database is required showing the cattle leaving the property for auction.

                          Once at the auction site, all cattle are passed through a gate containing another reader.  Same process for the auction house.

                          Movement tracked, no worries.  All done.  On to canning apples.

                          SophK

                          Some men weave their sophistry till their own reason is entangled. ~Samuel Johnson

                          by sophistry makes me tired on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:10:33 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  You may want to read up a bit more (0+ / 0-)

                        Just a suggestion. It takes more than one article or source to digest this issue. I'm glad you haven't been affected, and I hope you never have to deal with disease etc.

                        Your scenario of diseased livestock is an excellent point. However, since the Creekstone case, I have my doubts that is the whole rationale behind the program.

                        •  Marina... I don't have to "read up" - I live (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          kalmoth, kuronekoyama

                          it, every day.  There's nothing for me to digest.  I already use the system. :)  I administrate my animals being chipped.  I administrate the EXTREMELY easy and problem free tracking ID'ing of each animal as it walks through a gate equipped with a reader on its way OUT of my property, and read again on arrival at the auction as it walks through the gate equppied with a reader there.

                          There is NO hand processing.  My total investment for 100 head (58 requiring chipping) was $1500.  TOTAL.  That was three years ago.  The chips themselves for new births cost me .80.  A small farmer CAN register livestock as a group instead of individually, just like the Tysons and other big AG can.  I do it every year.

                          Kansas has used RFID for livestock for quite some time.

                          99% of the hysterical "info" in this diary is utterly incorrect.  This is from someone who actually utilizes NAIS.

                          And by the way, NAIS is 100% voluntary on the Federal level, and voluntary in Kansas as well.  I choose to participate as Kansas already uses RFID and mandatory tracking is likely coming like it or not.  My insurance is cut significantly by using NAIS so that disease can be isolated quickly, saving the insurance companies money in the long run.  Yeah, we all want to screw the insurance agencies, but if it saves ME money, and allows them to cut checks for farmers who lose lovestock to disease, and prevents them from going bankrupt, hey, what they heck. :)

                          Anyway...

                          I hate to see people so paranoid.  It's truly sad.

                          SophK

                          Some men weave their sophistry till their own reason is entangled. ~Samuel Johnson

                          by sophistry makes me tired on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:02:42 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You know the saying (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            sophistry makes me tired

                            "Just because you're not paranoid..."

                            I'm glad this is working out for you. But I would try to keep on top of the subject, thus my suggestion. There is more in the works than what's been made public so far.

                          •  I'm fully on top of it, no worries. :) (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            kalmoth, marina

                            Remember, it's my farm.  I let nothing get by me.

                            But don't let the paranoia rule either.  We can't, as a group, point and laugh and snortle at those on the right who believe whatever is told to them (Obama's a Muslim, Gay marriage means beastiality is next, yadda, yadda, yadda) if we're doing the same damn thing.

                            Looking up the real information, from the source, asking questions, following the process, participating in meetings, Q&A sessions, holding feet to the fire, etc., while putting a damper on hysteria written by those who are NOT living it, and writing blatant, obvious falsehoods is the best way to go.  Yes, sometimes the paranoid hit on a truth.  But not often enough to influence MY life. :)

                            Cheers!

                            SophK

                            Some men weave their sophistry till their own reason is entangled. ~Samuel Johnson

                            by sophistry makes me tired on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:36:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  I am less sanguine (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        sophistry makes me tired

                        The whole point of NAIS is NOT to tag and track your fucking pet chicken, it's to track animals that are INTENDED for auction and eventually slaughter.

                        Then why does it apply to horses at all?

                        Why does it apply to camels? Alpacas?

                        I've been watching this program since the first draft in 2002 or so.

                        Here's my read: this program is intended to protect large commercial cattle and poultry operations from disease, the USDA way, which means tracking and killing animals who have come into proximity to diseased animals.

                        The range of species is every animal that might somehow be a vector to sicken a cow. And in that plan, a pet cow or chicken is as much an issue as the commercial. From the USDA point of view, they are more worried about pets because they live natural lives outside, instead of breathing on their neighbor in tiny sterile cages.

                        I, on the other hand, value my animals as individuals and don't mind nursing them or medicating them. My animals have been chosen because they are strong and healthy and thrive, not because they have optimal weight gain. Some are genetically valuable or have other non-carcass value.

                        USDA has backed off dramatically because the public launched a shit-storm at them. The question is, have they just made the appearance of a strategic retreat or have they truly ceded the ground? I don't know, and I think the end answer will have a lot to do with the people Obama appoints.

                        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                        by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 11:19:51 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Not sure... (0+ / 0-)

                          I do know that chipping your horses is, as always, completely voluntary at the Federal level, as well as in my state.  Your state's mileage may vary.

                          Horses can and do carry diseases that can wipe out many, MANY horses.  My assumption is that the same intent applies.  Any horse that is shipped elsewhere, for breeding, for slaughter, for whatever, is tracked so that ALL the horses along the way covering hundreds of square miles don't have to be killed, but only those that the infected one came in contact with.

                          Your idea that they are or will be worried about pets because they might sicken a cow is incorrect, both from a physiological perspective as well as from and NAIS perspective.  Pets are not now, nor have they ever been, a part of the NAIS.  Not dogs, not chickens, not anything that is not shipped.  I don not have to chip my draft horses who regularly travel to state fairs, because they too, are exempt under NAIS.

                          The USDA is not worried about pets in the least, at least so far as NAIS.  

                          Is no one frightened by what happened in Britain?

                          which means tracking and killing animals who have come into proximity to diseased animals.

                          You bet'cher ass it is.  I will personally volunteer up any of  my animals for slaughter who have been exposed to hoof and mouth or any other virulent, fast spreading, and utterly devastating disease in order to save the majority of my stock.  I would hope and pray that everyone else does as well.  You cannot "nurse" this disease away - They're GOING TO DIE.  ONE single footprint in an infected part of the farm can spread it to each and every farm, auction house, fair, home, etc. that that foot steps on for the next 24 to 48 hours.

                          Try not to let the hysteria get to you.  Sometimes there are GOOD reasons for certain methodologies. :)

                          Cheers!

                          SophK  

                          Some men weave their sophistry till their own reason is entangled. ~Samuel Johnson

                          by sophistry makes me tired on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 01:56:30 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Hoof and mouth is not deadly (0+ / 0-)

                            it causes weight loss and discomfort, but animals survive if they are nursed through it. It is only deadly because the government requires those animals be destroyed. It is a devastating disease economically, and I don't mean to say that it shouldn't be controlled or taken seriously. But, for example, there is a FMD vaccine. It's not used in the US or other FMD-free regions because the FMD test is an antibody test, and it can't distinguish between sick animals and vaccinated animals.

                            When I said "pets", I meant individuals of species that are covered but are not intended for human consumption. Horses are generally not intended for human consumption, nor are camels. People keep poultry and pigs as pets. All these animals were covered in the initial NAIS regulations, which were not voluntary at all. USDA has now written that they are voluntary, but instead it appears that they are choosing to push enforcement down to the states, as in this case of the Amish farmer. They are encouraging states to require participation in the program for 4H, to continue in other state programs, even in some cases to purchase feed.

                            Your horse is only exempt from the current draft of NAIS regulations because people like me have been protesting and writing letters and applying pressure over the past 6 years.

                            If USDA has truly backed off and is going to just set up a totally voluntary system that applies only to food producers, then I will be happy and I will rejoice. However, the history of this particular issue suggests to me that we must remain vigilant.

                            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                            by elfling on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 11:05:38 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I will give you a single (0+ / 0-)

                            isolated animal on a farm with NO OTHER ANIMALS, and an owner that does not leave the property, nor allow anyone else ON the property, which has H&M possibly living through it with nursing - Living through it however does not in any way mean being healthy.  However, having farmed my entire life, from a family of farmers going back to the Revolutionary War, on both sides, I can state definitively that the spread of the disease does not allow for home nursing in an outbreak. The very nature of the disease precludes one animal on a farm with many other animals having it and being successfully nursed through it without most, if not all of the others being infected.  It can and does spread through an entire heard, of any size, on a single property with shared pasturage and people waking the pasture, within 24 to 48 hours.  There is no such thing as "one" sick animal. :)

                            H&M is deadly, it kills fetuses in the womb, shortens the life spans of in utero young by 2/3'ds, causes near complete infertility on surviving adults AND young.  It leaves a high percentage of survivors that are unable to walk afterwards (permanent lameness or inability to stand), weight loss (usually irrecoverable) making them unsalable, milk production ceased, making the animal not only not saleable due to having had the disease, but useless in production, bearing young, nursing young, and not saleable due to insufficient weight.  Blindness, lung damage, testicular swelling and rupture, uterine collapse (prolapse), etc.  That's just touching the very outer limits of the effects of the disease.  And that's only H&M.  There are a myriad of others that w do the same or worse.

                            I have 100 head of heritage cattle.  Very few people have them.  If they were struck, not only would it be impossible for me to "nurse" them individually, it would be to no effect in the end, as they could not then go on to perpetuate the breed.

                            You speak as a good liberal who fights social causes, for the sake of yourself and an assumed evil doing intent on the behalf of the government, as well as to "save" me, the too stupid to know better without you the progressive, farmer.

                            I appreciate the good liberal part.  I appreciate the fight part.  I do not appreciate you taking a tool away from me, nor do I appreciate you talking as a textbook person, or maybe even someone who has a couple horses or a hobby "farm" who wants to "nurse" a sick animal.  Farmers do not ever have "a" sick animal.  They have herds, which are their livelihood.  They do not have the leisure, nor the interest in making pets of their cattle, and trying to "nurse" one or one hundred or fifty thousand so that they can continue to nurse them the rest of their lives while they lie about in pain, unable to produce, bear young, or perpetuate the breed.

                            I do appreciate you in general.  I do appreciate the interest.  I do wish you would spend some time with farmers who work from sun up to sun down and afterwards to the wee hours keeping records, monitoring births, feeding the motherless, overseeing every aspect of their family farm and lifestyle.  See what happens in real life when one animal gets sick with a disease which could wipe out their livelihood.  Farmers have a neat justice usually dispersed with a shotgun.  They have no interest in, nor any wish to "nurse" an animal that could wipe out their herd.

                            Nevertheless, I do appreciate you.  We'll just agree to disagree.  Just remember, not everything in the world is evil.  Not everything in the world has evil intent, and not everyone who does not agree with you is less than bright.  Some of us actually live the lifestyle.  Trying to argue that something is other than it is with someone who lives the lifestyle, every day, is self defeating. :)  Remember, one of the first posts you wrote me stated that NAIS meant tracking your dog all over your property...lol!

                            Cheers!

                            SophK

                            Some men weave their sophistry till their own reason is entangled. ~Samuel Johnson

                            by sophistry makes me tired on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 04:34:09 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am sorry we disagree (0+ / 0-)

                            I think I would enjoy knowing you.

                            I think your assumption that Real Farmers Love NAIS and that everyone else is an inexperienced silly liberal is incorrect.

                            There are meat animals, and there are breeding stock animals. If my breeding stock animals aren't sick and I can keep them healthy and quarantined, I want the option to do that. USDA's actions on Exotic Newcastle sickened me, slaughtering healthy birds indiscriminately. If my animals are sick I will put them down myself.

                            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                            by elfling on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 08:18:51 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kuronekoyama

                      I really haven't had time to check up on the changes in the program, and I suspect it will change even more.  Then I'm sure I'll have more opinions as things develop!  ;-)

                      Btw, USDA already uses aerial photographs, satellite photos, and GPS coordinates. Among whatever other uses they might have, they are used for locating areas and measuring acreage.

                    •  NAIS has changed and morphed (0+ / 0-)

                      quite a bit, with no notice, and no particular rhyme or reason. They've tried to codify it via Congress, but couldn't get it to pass - in fact, that's partly how we got Claire McCaskill in the senate to replace Jim Talent - Talent was a big NAIS proponent.

                      Because it's just an administrative rule, they can keep changing it.

                      But ask yourself: since this is totally and completely and utterly voluntary, why is some Amish farmer in a court of law for violating it?

                      Keep in mind that by "voluntary" they may mean the same way that No Child Left  Behind is "voluntary": that is, if you want money or services, you must comply. People have been forced to register to attend a county fair, to participate in 4H, to receive drought relief, to qualify for all kinds of ordinary programs. The feds seem to be leaning heavily on the states to do the compulsion.

                      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                      by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 11:05:36 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Answer (0+ / 0-)

                        But ask yourself: since this is totally and completely and utterly voluntary, why is some Amish farmer in a court of law for violating it?

                        Because the state of Wisconsin made a law requiring farmers to register their premises with NAIS.

                        The USDA did not do that.  NAIS did not do that.  The State of Wisconsin did that.  And it is the State of Wisconsin that is charging Miller with a potential fine for refusing.

                        Keep in mind that by "voluntary" they may mean the same way that No Child Left  Behind is "voluntary": that is, if you want money or services, you must comply. People have been forced to register to attend a county fair, to participate in 4H, to receive drought relief, to qualify for all kinds of ordinary programs. The feds seem to be leaning heavily on the states to do the compulsion.

                        And it's still the states that are requiring registration for county fairs, 4H, drought relief, etc.  The states could certainly refuse to do any of this--just look at REAL ID.  That's in legal limbo because states played chicken with the Feds on implementing it.

                        •  Yes but WHY are those states doing it? (0+ / 0-)

                          They cannot implement NAIS themselves. The program makes no sense on a state level. Some states don't even have slaughterhouses.

                          From watching the history, I believe that USDA is pushing back against their failures in Congress etc by leaning on state veterinarians and ag services. USDA then can state "truthfully" that this is voluntary from their standpoint, when for all practical purposes it is not.

                          It stops being voluntary if you have hungry animals and you have to sign up in order to purchase hay.

                          Some states are refusing or resisting. It means we have 50 battles to fight instead of one.

                          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                          by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 11:43:18 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

            •  Cows are tagged in their ears (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marina

              Implanting a chip inside a food animal would cause contamination issues.

              Chickens would probably be tagged by attaching the chip to their leg.

              Restraining large animals is not easy work and requires specialized equipment, such as chutes. I doubt that a couple of people could tag 300 cows in a day. It takes about an hour for my veterinarian to brand and vaccinate 5 or 6 calves.

              •  smmt apparently has experience with this (0+ / 0-)

                And suggests a tagging rate of 30 seconds per head.

                http://www.dailykos.com/...

                Or 120 cows per hour.

                Also, in reading up, it appears that cattle are tagged with an ear tag, birds get an implant in the breast (this may only be for egg-layers?), horses get an implant behind or on the side of the neck.

                •  That's optimistic (0+ / 0-)

                  because it doesn't count the setup time or the time to get each animal into the chute.

                  It's like those recipes that claim it will take 20 minutes for a complete meal. They mean, assuming someone already did the dishes, that the veggies have already been chopped, etc. Not how long it will take YOU to make it in YOUR kitchen. :-)

                  Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                  by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 11:23:36 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  In California (0+ / 0-)

              where land is very expensive and a lot of it is held by absentee hobby owners, there are many cattle operations who move their cattle to a new premises every week. Susie Smith has a house with 5 acres - 5 acres isn't enough to run cattle, but it is enough to make a lot of brush. Susie is only there part time, and knows nothing about cows anyway. Callie Cattleman has a hundred head of cows, and she works out a deal with Susie to bring 5 cows over for a couple of weeks to eat down the brush. She's got these deals with a lot of small landowners.

              Nearly every cattle owner I know with more than a couple of head moves their animals between separate legal parcels at least a few times a year.

              Goat operations do this too - indeed, they often have it as a side business - they charge the property owners to clear a hillside while also feeding the goats. They do a different property every few days, and since they'd be residential properties, they wouldn't generally have premises IDs.

              Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

              by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:59:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  And most decent small farmers (6+ / 0-)

            already tag their animals - just not with RFID.  Although we are thinking of switching, because lost tags are always a problem.  The two seconds and a couple of cents the actual tagging takes is only a very small part of what a farmer has to go through in order to bring baby livestock into the world.  I know - I am a small farmer and I see it as an essential part of my operation.

            How else are you to provide continuity of care to the animals?  How could you tell the good breeders from the bad ones?  I need a heads up if the ewe that just delivered rejected her lamb last year.

            These animals are a big investment to most small farmers, and it pays to be able to tell your animals apart.

            So I think tagging in general is a good idea, and not burdensome on the small farmer.  However, I think reporting movement when ownership is not transferred is too much, and tagging birds is also too much.

            •  Here is a previous diary (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AmericanRiverCanyon, cynndara

              explaining some of the requirements under NAIS. Now, I'm not sure how much of this is current, but the gist of the issue remains the same--control.

              In this legal case, religion is a distraction that enables us to think, "well, I'm not Amish, so it doesn't affect me"--and we would be wrong.

            •  True (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marina

              So I think tagging in general is a good idea, and not burdensome on the small farmer.  However, I think reporting movement when ownership is not transferred is too much, and tagging birds is also too much.

              I could see that being burdensome, but I could also see that as an advantage.  If your animals are taken off-premises where they might come into contact with other animals and contract a disease, it's good to know what contacts took place and between whose animals so you could help localize the source.

              And should there be a large-scale outbreak, rather than saying "all chickens in [such and such area] must be immediately destroyed," it could be narrowed down to "all chickens registered as having been in contact with [such and such farmer]'s chickens must be immediately destroyed."  So if your animals have never been in contact with that farmer's animals, even if he lives five miles away from you, it would help protect your investment.

            •  Uh ... (0+ / 0-)

              You can't tell your animals apart?  How many do you have?  When I kept about two hundred horses and three hundred sheep, I didn't have any problem telling which was which.

              I certainly can't see needing tags to identify a dozen chickens and a half-dozen goats.  If you can't keep a small farm's worth of animals straight, you've got worse vision than I do without my glasses.

              •  Depends on the animals (0+ / 0-)

                Birds especially can be quite difficult to tell apart if they are all the same breed - and I'm someone who has no trouble distinguishing individuals within a group of black Labrador retrievers or plain bay Thoroughbreds.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 11:26:35 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Ask yourself (0+ / 0-)

          how you'd feel about having to report to the government every time you take your dog off your premises.

          Some people's horses leave their premises daily.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:52:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  rec came from the Clinton Slam (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      linc, kalmoth, Treg, Argyrios

      nobody read any further

      "I do think it is kind of sad when everybody who owns a laptop thinks they are Thomas Paine" Redlief take on Helen Thomas, 2008

      by redlief on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:45:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ha! (0+ / 0-)

        my thoughts exactly.  Too funny.

        Its interesting that none of the diary has anything to do with Monsanto/Clinton as well, but that's beside the point that the international cabal of bankers is putting our farm land into international hock, isn't it?

        Give me a f'ing banana - Eddie Izzard

        by linc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:08:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, it's more than that. (17+ / 0-)

      NAIS stops at the slaughterhouse, which makes no sense if indeed the point is to track BSE/Mad cow.

      The point of NAIS is:

      To make $ for RFID makers

      To bury small farmers in unnecessary costs (can you say unfunded mandate)because they must buy the RFIDs

      To bury small farmers & ANY livestock owners (including horse owners & chicken & goat hobbyists)in burdensome monitoring & reporting of their animal's movements.  This is not just beef cattle that must be tracked.  ALL livestock.  If you let your chickens out in the am and you're missing one in the pm, you MUST report it to the database.  If you take your horse to the vet, or a show, or to another location to ride, you MUST report it to the database.  If you slaughter your own goat, you MUST report it.  Anytime your livestock leaves your property or the inventory changes, you MUST report it.  Horses, chickens, cows, goats, etc.  If you don't, you will be whacked with a fine.

      CAFOs will be permitted to have one "tag" per lot of livestock.  Small farmers, homesteaders, and others have to tag & track each individual animal.

      Just from a privacy point of view, NAIS is unconstitutional.  Once you actually do register your livestock, the USDA can spot check you to see if your reports are correct.

      In a time when we need to turn back the clock and get away from "get big or get out" for our health & national security, implementing NAIS as it is currently written is clearly not the way to go.  Small time beef farmers are more likely to grass feed their livestock and provide a better, healthier, and more humane product that the CAFOs that feed their livestock floor sweepings & worse to keep production costs low.  Oddly enough, NAIS doesn't address the CAFOs practises or the tracking of CAFO meat AFTER it is slaughtered.

      NAIS is a big deal.  It's Big Brother monitoring, squeezing & harassing the Little Guy.  Anyone who owns a horse, keeps chickens, or who wants local meat, milk & eggs available to them (at all or at a reasonable cost) should be concerned & outspoken against it.

      What kind of Republican are you? A millionaire or a sucker?

      by nedweenie on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:51:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, RiaD, cynndara, KimD

      this:

      which, if you eat beef at all and you're worried about BSE, you shouldn't dismiss quite so easily)

      Most cows are already tagged. Just not with chips.
      Without testing, NAIS will just drive the little guy with 250 cows out of business.
      Without testing, this is all a scam for profiting the barons, consolidating agri-control of the small farmer.

  •  Sorry, My anger about Vilsack has blocked my (6+ / 0-)

    ability to process anything else. Grrr.

    "indifference is the one thing that makes the very angels weep."-Cornell West

    by misreal on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:37:44 AM PST

  •  Would it be possible to summarize (4+ / 0-)

    the key points in a comment? I can't make heads or tails out of this diary. Presumably it's important since it's on the rec list, but damned if I can follow it.

  •  let me see if I get this? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, Sui Juris, Gary Norton, Argyrios

    there was a disease outbreak in hogs, those animals that were not registered as vaccinated were destroyed? Seems like a public health issue The diary is really a jumble so I apologize if I couln't sort it out.

    We will fight. We will win. This machine kills fascists.

    by Elvis meets Nixon on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:49:05 AM PST

  •  This diary is ridiculous (23+ / 0-)

    And so are most of the concerns that I can identify in it.  There may well be some legitimate issues in there, but they're so far buried under hyperbole and paranoia that most people will either never find them or simply give up looking.

  •  Why is this trash recced? (15+ / 0-)

    Seriously.  If the government wants to reduce diseases (in livestock and humans) by tracking where the animals come and go from, I'm all for it.  If it drives up the cost of meat a bit, so be it (it's kept artificially low by subsidies anyway).  And if the details of the program are still uncertain, just give it time.  Jeeze.

    These are times that can't be weathered.

    by Scott in NAZ on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:07:07 AM PST

    •  The diarist uses (8+ / 0-)

      tremendous volumes of data and high drama to seem weighty.  This is a pattern.  And it is not the same as facts.

      And commenters will demand that you counter every piece that you disagree with, or claim that you work for Monsanto.

      Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic. --The Onion

      by mem from somerville on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:17:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  One man's trash is another's treasure... (0+ / 0-)

      Failure to file the appropriate documents is important...and often the top end of legal means of redress on issues.

    •  It shouldn't be (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scott in NAZ, rsquire, Grass

      You are right the ability to quickly trace diseased animals is in everyone's best interest.
      For example from the USDA's website.

      Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is a chronic, degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of cattle. Also known as "mad cow disease," BSE was discovered in Britain in 1986 and has remained a worldwide concern to the present day. BSE spreads among cattle primarily through feed containing meat and bone meal made from rendered ruminant products of infected animals.

      Incident:

         * The first diagnosis of BSE in the U.S. occurred on December 23, 2003
         * A second BSE case was discovered on June 24, 2005 from the sample of a 12-year old Texas cow
         * A third BSE case was discovered on March, 15
      Investigative Summary:

         * A large number of cows associated with the index herd were untraceable in each investigation
         * Each BSE case required the investigation of at least eight different herds
         * The three investigations took a total of 155 days to complete

      Impact:

         * U.S. beef exports dropped from a record 2.5 billion pounds in 2003 to 461 million pounds in 2004, a fall of over 80 percent. The outbreak cost the beef industry over $2 billion in 2004 alone.

      "I don't believe there's any cloud that hangs over me. I think there's nothing but sunshine hanging over me,"-Rod Blagojevich

      by folgers on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:22:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  NAIS stops at the slaughterhouse (7+ / 0-)

        NAIS does nothing to promote safe beef.

        If anything, it endangers small farmers who would raise grass fed beef.  

        What kind of Republican are you? A millionaire or a sucker?

        by nedweenie on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:01:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  All cattle are worked at some point (0+ / 0-)

          Vaccinations, branding ,fly control there are plenty of opportunities to tag cattle, even grass fed beef. It would be a small inconvenience for any farmer to comply, large or small.

          "I don't believe there's any cloud that hangs over me. I think there's nothing but sunshine hanging over me,"-Rod Blagojevich

          by folgers on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:45:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And most cattle and sheep farmers (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Treg, pernoclone

            already tag their livestock (I am one myself).

          •  Range Cattle (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elfling

            Free range cattle have problems keeping tags on. The tag can get tough underbrush twisted around them. If the tag doesn't pop loose, the cow's ear gets shredded. That is why many of us prefer brands.

            These tags are also being used to show country of origin (US tags are called 840 tags, Canada and Mexico have different numbers), and it sounds like these tags will be used instead of branding cattle from Canada with CAN and from Mexico with a M. What happens when one of those tags are lost?

          •  Why, then... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elfling, cynndara

            It would be a small inconvenience for any farmer to comply, large or small.

            Why are Corporate Farms only required to register each lot as opposed to each individual animal like small farmers?

      •  But they are not testing. (5+ / 0-)

        They are not testing for BSE. What the fuck good is tagging without testing.
        And they are not testing, because BSE is far more prevalent than USDA would want anyone to know. See, it would cause quite the loss for the Beef Industry Biggies, should testing occur. Tin foil? Why else would they prohibit voluntary testing?
        Seems to me, if they wanted to know, they'd drop this NAIS thing, and institute mandatory BSE testing, don'tcha think?

        •  This simply not true (0+ / 0-)

          USDA test thousands of cattle under a surveillance program.

          Jul 20, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The US government's expanded testing program for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) will be cut back soon, having shown that the nation has "no significant BSE problem," Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said today.

          About 759,000 cattle, or more than 1,000 cattle per day, have been tested since the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) expanded BSE surveillance in June 2004, Johanns said at a news conference. Two cases were found during that time, in addition to the first US case discovered in 2003.

          Starting as early as late August, testing will be reduced to about 40,000 cattle a year, or about 110 a week, Johanns announced. The reduced testing program—similar to what was done before the expansion—will cost about $8 million a year, versus about $52 million a year currently, he said.

          To the suggestion that the current level of testing should continue indefinitely, Johanns said, "There simply is no scientific justification for doing so. . . . The reality is this: there is no significant BSE problem in the United States. And after all this surveillance I am able to say there never was. We've proved that with our enhanced surveillance."

          Johanns said that testing 40,000 cattle a year is 10 times as many as recommended in the science-based guidelines of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The USDA will continue to test cattle from high-risk populations and from a variety of places around the country, he said.

          "I don't believe there's any cloud that hangs over me. I think there's nothing but sunshine hanging over me,"-Rod Blagojevich

          by folgers on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:57:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Remember Hallmark? (0+ / 0-)

            This is the audit report of what happened at the Hallmark plant - a facility that had been receiving accolades from the USDA for their wonderful record keeping.

            Evaluation of FSIS Management Controls Over Pre-Slaughter Activities

            (Report No: 24601-07-KC, Issued November 2008)

            Link

          •  Your reply confuses me. (0+ / 0-)

            meat from 110 cows might supply how many McDonalds?

            Of course, the USDA is to be trusted without question. They say there's no danger. I don't believe it, not with the increase of CJD, the drastic rise in numbers of Alzheimer's, and the fact that they don't normally autopsy Alz patients....... we simply don't know how prevalent Mad Cow in this country. What few university studies have been done on Alzheimer autopsy have found a bigger percentage of prion activity than makes me comfortable with the US beef supply. But there's no test for CJD. Yet.

            News-Medical.Net  

            Worries over test for mad cow disease

            Published: Tuesday, 21-Oct-2008  

            Disease/Infection News

            A new test to screen blood for the incurable human form of mad cow disease could be available within 18 months, but it has raised concerns.

            The breakthrough blood test which will be able to diagnose variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases (vCJD), is currently undergoing clinical trials but experts are worried it will reduce the number of people prepared to donate blood - research suggests 1 in every 4,000 people might harbour vCJD in their blood, though 95% of them may never actually develop the full blown disease.

            But you can bet your bottom dollar, if you have one left, that AMA will deem it "too expensive" for any practicable use.

            Oh, Katy? Bar the door, would ya darlin'?

            •  Not much indication of BSE in cattle in USA... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SnowCountry

              Washington -- Following nearly two years of extensive testing, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has concluded that the prevalence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, in the United States is "extraordinarily low."

              Briefing reporters April 28, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said test results of nearly 650,000 "high-risk" cattle since June 2004 indicate that the prevalence of BSE in the U.S. cattle herd is no more than four to seven cases.

              The U.S. cattle population encompasses approximately 42 million animals, according to USDA.

              link

              So a little over 1% tested and risk is 4-7 cases.  Furthermore, can't be detected in animals under 30 months- and many cattle are slaughtered before then.  

              Because of the long incubation period, infected cattle have rarely been found at
              less than 30 months of age. Approximately 80% of the cattle slaughtered in the U.S. are
              under 30 months old and would not be potential transmitters, even if the disease were
              present in this country. Most cattle are slaughtered at 12-18 months of age.

              I am guessing that isn't enough to warrant the test.  At some point the false positives outweight the chance of finding anything real.  link

              And as far as I can tell, there is no CJ epidemic in the USA.  Even in the UK, which had a real BSE epidemic, the CJ epidemic linked to the consumption of the cattle never materialized.

              Summary points:
              The causal link between the bovine spongiform encephalopathy prion and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is open to question.

              Assessment of the evidence against relevant epidemiological criteria reveals the weakness of the case for a link.

              The rate of growth in the number of cases is very much less than would be expected from a foodborne source.

              The rate of growth is consistent with a previously misdiagnosed but extremely rare disease being foundthis could have resulted from the improved ascertainment of all possible cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease that has been achieved in recent years by the United Kingdom Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit  

              link

              You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

              by murrayewv on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:38:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well thank you. (0+ / 0-)

                I don't believe the first link. I don't believe anything dot gov tells me. Perhaps the new .gov will be more reliable.
                I didn't open the second, not knowing pdf size. Computer locks up if they're big.
                As for the third, it's a bit confusing in it's repetition of the "new" CJD. What about the old one?
                I'm still wondering about all the Alzheimers, and what it is. I think I'll still not eat any commercial beef, unless I know the cow.

                •  Well then.... (0+ / 0-)

                  make sure to vote republican.  They are the ones who really want to end all government sponsored science.  Without government sponsored science then you really have only corporate science and a few wealthy hobbists like Charlie Darwin.

                  You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                  by murrayewv on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 09:26:35 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  New CJD.... (0+ / 0-)

                  is the CDJ caused (it was suspected) by the BSE meat.  Old CJD was caused by the scrapie in sheep and is well known from North Africa and other areas where people eat the neural tissues of infected sheep and goats.  Sheepshead was the final part enjoyed at Arab festivals and the eyeballs were special treat.  If the sheep had the Scrapie, then it passed to the brains of the eaters of the neural tubes, brains and eyes and in 5-10 years developed into CJD.

                  So in the UK after the BSE outbreak, physicians diagnosed some young people with a form of CJD and they hadn't been eating offal.  So they concluded that was "new" and spreading from the infected cattle's meat, which was known to have a very small amount of the misfolded protein which triggers the disease as a prion. But it turns out, no real epidemic has resulted following a predicatble time frame.  For exaple, we know 20 years after people start smoking, we start seeing lung cancer deaths spike- and that is why cigarettes carry a warning.  If BSE outbreak were followed by an outbreak of new CJD in the same way, there should have been a peak of cases diagnosed some years later, mirroring the BSE infection in cattle.  That is not what was observed.

                  Early CJD is very rare, still, after the BSE epidemic, leading people to conclude it isn't being caused (much) by the BSE.  There are spontaneous misfoldings of the protein, and genetic propensities to not correcting misfolding errors.  Perhaps this plays a role.  But the data is NOT out there for an epidemic of CJD in the USA.

                  Most troubling are the epidemics of a scrapie like infection in white-tailed deer and elk, which wildlife farmers and people trying re-establish ellk herds have unwittingly increased.  And eating this game is probably riskier by far than eating beef.  So people hunt, freeze meat and then wait a few months for test results before eating their personally tagged meat.

                  Sorry to lecture, but it is an occupational hazard for me.

                  You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                  by murrayewv on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 09:36:44 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  USDA policy is don't ask don't tell (0+ / 0-)

            which is why they don't allow for voluntary BSE testing.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 11:30:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  The point of this, for the non-farmers, (16+ / 0-)

      is that the government is forcing someone to do something against their religion, namely the tagging and registration of the livestock.  The Amish don't even believe in using light bulbs, so why would they agree to this?  That's the most basic issue.  

      In addition, they probably run their farms in a far better and cleaner manner than the USDA requires, so why should this farmer be penalized for LOWERING his standards?  Don't believe me?  My grandmother and aunt ran a small family farm for decades in Wisconsin.   Knew the cows by name, and milked them twice a day.  They took pride in how they ran that farm.  What put them out of business?  A USDA regulation about door width in the milk house.  They simply couldn't afford to get the new doors.  It didn't matter how damned clean or fresh the milk was.

      For people who have absolutely no connection to farms and who don't know or care where their food comes from, this diary IS a waste of space.  But for those of us who do have an understanding of the workings of "guvmint" in relation to the small, independent farmer, this is scary stuff.  Get rid of the small farmer, and all you have are the large meat mills.  THAT is where the diseases happen because of the overwhelming drive for profit at the expense of the health of the animals.

      The USDA needs to leave the small farmers alone!

      "And God separated the light from the dark, and did two loads of laundry"

      by Fiddlegirl on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:28:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Doesn't matter (6+ / 0-)

        The religious freedom argument doesn't hold water because there's no way that an individual's right to practice their religion can trump the public health.  If your religion requires you to handle rattlesnakes, use peyote, or otherwise endanger your own health, have a party.  But if your religion compels you to endanger my health, then you've gone too far.

        As for small farms, unless there's good evidence that cows on small farms don't get BSE or other diseases, then small farms have the same responsibility as large ones.  Livestock move between farms, even small farms, and tracking their movements could be critical to stopping a disease outbreak.  Is tagging cows so expensive that it's going to put small farmers out of business?  I can't imagine it.

        These are times that can't be weathered.

        by Scott in NAZ on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:46:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Do you feel the same way (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth, RiaD, csquared

        about pharmacists who disagree with your prescriptions because of their religious beliefs?  

        Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic. --The Onion

        by mem from somerville on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:04:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So your grandma (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lestatdelc

        could afford all the expensive dairy equipment for cooling, pasteurizing and storage, could afford all the tests required for food safety, could afford to collect, store and spread all the manure, she could afford the feed and medicines.

        But somehow she couldn't afford doors?

        And by the way - the Pasterized Milk Ordinance (the USDA bible on dairying) doesn't actually require you to have doors in your doorway to the milkhouse, as long as it doesn't open into a food storage area.  I know, I have a milkhouse, and mine doesn't.  It also doesn't say how wide the doors need to be - just that there should be no overcrowding.  Seems sensible to me.

        •  "Everything I want to do is illegal" (0+ / 0-)

          by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm is a fun read and might give you some alternate perspectives on some of the ways regulations that seem simple can cause trouble.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 11:33:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth

      The diarist apparently felt he didn't get enough attention with his rant yesterday - although I see he doesn't seem to be trying to respond to every single criticism on this one, so maybe it's a slight improvement.

      If you're reading this, though, Scaredhuman, feel free to respond to my comment on your bizarre assertion that Seed Savers is apparently about to be taken over by big corporations.

  •  I'm sure someone will slam me for this, but (5+ / 0-)

    And though diseases are supposedly a concern, one farmer noted that those organizations continue to advocate for the import of diseased livestock from foreign countries.  "Whether as willful intent to do harm, or depraved indifference, the results are the same. Nothing is being done to stem the source of these diseases."

    Farmers opposing NAIS believe that diseases are a concern but that they can only be addressed at the source.  

    What you describe in the diary definitely sounds like discrimination and harassment of the Amish and I'm pretty sure we all agree private industry should not be regulating health issues of livestock for the government; however (in response to the quote above) disease can also be transmitted through imported feed, as well as livestock.

    A few years ago, I treated a man with Mad Cow/ Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (He had most likely acquired it in England at least 12 years before.)
    It is not something you want to see.
    I realize this is only one "disease," but it is a ghastly and deadly with such a long gestational period that makes tracking its source very difficult.
    I believe about 2 years ago there was a reported case of mad cow in western Canada. I don't recall hearing what the original source of that was. I don't recall anyone saying that animal was imported to Canada.

    I think the concept of tracking animals (if not outsourced to a company for profit) has some validity.
    There must be a way to do this that would respect the customs of the Amish and actually be effective.
    Also, don't forget the protests in Korea not long ago when their government agreed to import American beef. The people there truly believed American beef wasn't safe (because of a fear of mad cow.). That perception, even if wrong or partially wrong, isn't good for business, or farmers or consumers.

    Paranoia is knowing all the facts.

    by lh114 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:14:57 AM PST

  •  Thank you for these diaries. This is SO important (9+ / 0-)

    but since most people thinks their food magically appears in plastic wrappers in the store rooms of super markets, it's not being noticed. Small farmers are making an impact - from farmer's markets to CSAs - and the big boys are not liking it. I thought Vilsack was off the list? Another reason I was NOT holding my breath that BO would be any different from all the other politicians.

    •  I saw that Obama took lots of donations from (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiaD, dewley notid, KimD

      folks who identified their employer as being Monsanto and that did give me pause at times..however, Hillary got money from the Washington DC head of Monsanto's political liason office and that was even worse..I am sorry to see Vilsack chosen ..however, perhaps Vilsack will conform to Obama's will if we can get Obama to recognize how dangerous Monsanto is..I don't know if that is possible.

      I agree with the diarist that the Clintons were probably involved in this choice..I am disappointed in the Clintons but what else can we expect from a president who blew his heart out on McDonald's hamburgers setting a horrible example for the children of the nation..

  •  Sacred, you are the best journalist I have read (7+ / 0-)

    in a long time. I attribute this not only to your skills, excellent research and passion but sadly to the conglomeration of all media. What the haters("black helicopters" etc) fail to realize is that we are in the midst of a banking take-over of our nation. They are stealing everything from us. Sadly again, our citizenry's Pavlovian response has been to wait docilely and trust in the authority of our government. Especially since HOPE has been proffered in the form of a charismatic leader. Until today, I delayed any judgment of President elect Obama. With Vilsac head of USDA I finally know where he stands, and I am deeply disappointed. Keep up the good work. Ignore the haters. They don't even see their chains.

  •  But wait! (0+ / 0-)

    When Obama actually takes office in January, he's going to replace Monsanto Vilsack.  Obama only WANTS us to think he's appointing Vilsack...  yeah, that's it!

  •  OH NOES! (14+ / 0-)

    Under NAIS, the next steps after premises registration will be mandatory RFID (radio frequency identification) chipping and government tracking of all livestock movements.

    The mark of the beast.

    LITERALLY.

    I don't see the issue with identifying and tracking livestock animals. Yes, it's a burden on farmers, but with farming being what it is the public health benefits of tracking livestock are manifest.

    And if the problem are the Amish and Old Order Mennonite, I mean, I don't want to die of some cow disease because they want the best, most immersive Renaissance Faire ever.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:24:43 AM PST

    •  You need more information (6+ / 0-)

      It's not just "a burden on farmers" - it's going to mean whether you can eat a locally, sustainably produced product. I am betting you live in a city and have no idea where most of your food comes from.

      •  Untrue... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        folgers, Yoshimi, Sui Juris, csquared, maxxdogg

        ...and:

        It's not just "a burden on farmers" - it's going to mean whether you can eat a locally, sustainably produced product.

        Maybe. There are more important reasons than radio chips designed to track livestock -- a system we have even for compact discs -- why Big Ag is taking over small farms.

        it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

        by Addison on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:30:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Most people do. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jxg, kalmoth, csquared

        I am betting you live in a city and have no idea where most of your food comes from.

        Acting like a nutjob isn't going to convince them to change either.

      •  talk to big processors and producers (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catesby, kuronekoyama, Always Thinkin

        they want this point of origin identification less than anyone. Imagine going into your grocery store and being able to see EXACTLY where a steak or piece of salmon came from and being able to track it back through a plant down to a farm or boat? This is very good for the consumer and would allow people to make real choices about eating locally.

        We will fight. We will win. This machine kills fascists.

        by Elvis meets Nixon on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:41:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Please tell me (7+ / 0-)

        I am a livestock farmer.  A small one.  A sustainable one.

        How is this going to impact my business?

        Any 'sustainable' farmer already tags their livestock so they can provide good care.  Why would you consider buying food products from any farmer who doesn't even take the care to tell one animal from another?  How would you know - how would THEY know, if the animal they just sold you didn't just get a nice shot of anti-biotics or de-wormer?

        I only have 60 sheep and one cow.  I would be a mess without tags.

        How is this going to be anywhere near as burdensome as the costs of feed, medicines, fuel?

        I see you must be a farmer and understand all the issues.  Please explain.

    •  More like the Mark on the Beast (6+ / 0-)

      Amiright?

      Yeesh, diaries like this... Hrm, Dkos continues to live down to my worst expectations. Pretty soon we'll be able to enter a Crazy Off with Freep.

      "What Do You Want for Christmas, Crow?" "I want to decide who lives and who dies."

      by Larry Madill on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:42:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really poor understanding of what is happening (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiaD

        in rural America and with the American farmer..if you had any friends who were involved in sustainable agriculture at this time, you might feel differently..from your post, I surmise that you know no farmers in rural America..try to get to know some so that you might begin to understand the ramifications of what is happening...

    •  This is a sore issue among farmers because (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AmericanRiverCanyon

      every chicken has to be accounted for..all the feed bought for chickens is being watched and monitored closely..what for..?  It is an odd thing that is happening, but it is happening .. all livestock is being chipped to account for the animals.  

      •  Right... (0+ / 0-)

        ...but I don't think the answer is to not regulate the food supply. Especially not because of the Amish.

        It's to find ways to market local produce effectively, limit the expansion of big farms (zoning), and set up legal aid services for small farmers while strengthening their legal rights against biotech lawsuits.

        it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

        by Addison on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:39:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  the same people who want this tracking (5+ / 0-)

        don't really care what goes into the feed. And when they do find something in the feed (melamine anyone?) they simply put out a report saying it's not harmful.

        This doesn't have much to do with food safety, it has to do with the perception of food safety. And profits. And getting rid of the little guy.

    •  Chip Tomatos, Lettuce and Spinach Too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, cynndara, dewley notid

      Public health?  NAIS is after the fact.  New Orleans had some nice pumps and levees before Katrina.  This system will only be as good as the people who run it.

      How would NAIS eliminate animal parts in feed?  Prevent some of the 5,000 deaths and 325,000 hospitalizations due to food poisoning?  Will it prevent feces contamination at slaughter?  How many meat recalls will it prevent?  Will it remove melamine from feed and food?  Will it prevent chlorine baths?  Will it prevent the sale of long expired meats treated with CO?  An outbreak still needs to be identified by a qualified professional because the chips are not mobile labs.  NAIS is a Bush league product.  Reminds me of the voter fraud claims made by Republicans.

      Transparency, diversity, prevention, inspection and safe practices are the way to go if safety and health are the concern.  But hey, let's instead provide and opportunity to drain resources from proven methods and put them into the latest gee whiz non-solution.

      A massive tracking and database system is in place waiting for a rare event.  That's a lot of free time for the expense because they are not going to be tracking these animals until there is an outbreak.

    •  Too funny (0+ / 0-)

      ...because they want the best, most immersive Renaissance Faire ever.

      Priceless. That's a keeper.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Proud to support President-elect Obama

      by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:58:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder if we can put initiatives on local (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bicycle Hussein paladin

    ballots to prevent the sale of GMO crops?

    •  Something about states not being able to (0+ / 0-)

      impose tariffs or restrict commerce between states, in the Constitution, could make that difficult, I think? I'm actually not familiar with the technicalities of this. But yeah, that seems like a really good way to go, since there's going to be a lot of pressure on elected officials to be friendly to large corporations' concerns, and most people probably aren't motivated enough to put lots of time into the issue. But enough people still might vote for it in a referendum.

    •  Federal and state ag programs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OrangeMike, bluebuckaroo

      have supported removing local authorities' right to regulate these matters, form controlling access or cross-pollination by GE crops, to controlling pollution from factory farms. You might search CAFO ordinance for more info.

    •  Yes you can, and they exist (0+ / 0-)

      GMO Free Mendocino County

      Lake County (California) votes to ban GMO crops

      Marin County has also banned GMOs, and some GMOs are banned in Hawaii.

      The California Farm Bureau has been attacking these measures at the state level since, trying with some subtlety to get language that would overturn those bans inserted into various ag bills.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 03:19:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Un-recommended (11+ / 0-)

    It's not that I don't think there's something here. But this diary really suffers from a lack of clarity, and I don't think a lack of clarity is really very helpful to our progressive cause in general. I'm fairly smart, and I read the whole thing, and I have no idea what the real issue is. I have no idea why quotes from 1987 somehow relate. The whole thing is rife with nonsequitors. I would suggest a serious edit with far fewer bolded passages, and far more paragraphs that begin with a topic sentence. Boil this thing down to its essential element and don't attempt to tie events that are decades apart together unless you have a really rock solid basis to do so.

    But don't get me wrong. I believe that I care passionately about the same issues that are the subject of the diary, so I do appreciate the effort. I just don't think it should be on the recommended list until the writing and arguments are tightened up significantly.

  •  A question about the lawsuit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina

    Wisconsin has received money from the USDA to enroll farmers and producers in NAIS. My understanding is that the more producers they enroll, the more money they get from the USDA.

    Wisconsin claims that they have enrolled over 100% of all producers (there is spreadsheet on the USDA/NAIS website about enrollments). No one even seems to bat an eye at that statistic - or even the states that claim they have enrolled over 300% of their producers.

    If I lived in Wisconsin and I knew that premises were being enrolled without my knowledge and that all the premises have been enrolled, I would assume that I am enrolled. How can the Amish man be targeted for not enrolling?

  •  This diary doesn't make a lot of sense (10+ / 0-)

    and is chuck full of hyperbole (my guess that any day of the Dust Bowl would've probably been considered the worst days in US Farm history). Really does not belong on the rec list.

    Unless we've given up all pretense and consider ourselves the mirror reverse of freep.

    "What Do You Want for Christmas, Crow?" "I want to decide who lives and who dies."

    by Larry Madill on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:45:33 AM PST

    •  Maybe you haven't been following the wonderful (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catjo, dewley notid

      diaries posted by this brilliant diarist..I always look forward to anything posted by this diarist and what Scaredhuman has to say is incredibly valuable..perhaps some of the most valuable comments posted on Daily Kos and we are fortunate that this diarist posts here..

      •  But you don't understand (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AmericanRiverCanyon

        The issue isn't what's important.

        It must be eloquently written or it is unworthy of consideration.

        /snark

        Just below is a post by The Scientific Liberal who spent a good portion of his time yesterday belittling this diarist's important post. He's doing exactly the same thing here. Begs a question...let's see...

        WTF are you reading this one for if all you have to contribute is derision???

        I'll readily admit that I may not be the brightest bulb in the marquee but I had no trouble separating the wheat from the chaff in this diary and IMHO it is one of great importance.

        It would appear that more than a few Kossacks don't think the recently-accelerated takeover by corporate interests in a great cause for concern.

    •  Yesterdays diary by the same author (5+ / 0-)

      didn't either. It's embarrassing to see half-baked analysis get such play.

      Sig line for sale- inquire at GovBlagojevich.com

      by the fan man on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:58:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree with you and relies on 'fringe' sources (3+ / 0-)

      "...fighting the wildfires of my life with squirt guns."

      by deMemedeMedia on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:51:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like the diary (0+ / 0-)

      I just don't see how the state of Wisconsin can make a case out of it. I have been following the case from other sources, and the representation of the case in the diary is accurate.

      •  Amish? (4+ / 0-)

        I'm a city guy who knows nothing about farming. But I do know that treating the Amish as scofflaws and dragging them into court is an unbelievably shabby thing to do. They live their lives according to their religious dictates. They don't bother anyone. I'd hope that it'd be almost impossible to empanel a jury in this state that could convict an Amish farmer of not living up to a bunch of bureaucratic gobbledygook. They live as they do based on their religion, and forcing them to do otherwise raises First Amendment issues.

        The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

        by Korkenzieher on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:27:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Also doesn't seem to be aware of the AMISH (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, Larry Madill

      and Mennonite Communities in IA or for that matter the Maharishi Institute or that fact that one of the true progressives in the Senate, Tom Harkin has also supported Vilsack.

      Perhaps, next year this diarist can go to the "The Old Threshers Reunion" in Mt. Pleasant, IA. And then drop into the small town BIG Library there and tour the fields in the neighborhood.

      Or take time to know that Vilsack was quite good at taking State Agencies to task and making them responsible after many, many years of having Govs "Braindead" Branstad and Big Insurance Ray GOPPERS in Des Moines letting them languish.

      "...fighting the wildfires of my life with squirt guns."

      by deMemedeMedia on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:05:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh the humanity!!! (6+ / 0-)

    Is NAIS a burdensome reg? Sounds like it. Are regs easier for large farms to follow than small farms? Usually. It's the case with all farm and food regulations. From keeping a daily log of pesticide applications to new labeling regs aimed at tracking produce, its ALL burdensome. Do I think regs are being rushed through? They usually are when the promulgating agency thinks they'll be contentious. Is this "The Most Terrible Day in History of Farming in the US"? Give me a break.

    Sig line for sale- inquire at GovBlagojevich.com

    by the fan man on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:52:48 AM PST

  •  I received a letter from the USDA this week. (7+ / 0-)

    I live in Wisconsin on 14 acres of land and own two horses.  The letter I received informed me of this and that I was cropping 3.7 acres.  It included a satellite photo of my land with the crop section outlined in yellow.  (Actually the hay crop is put in by my dairy farmer neighbor who rents the land from me and pays me in hay for my horses.)  It also informed my of my farm's designation number and told me that I should notify them if there were any changes in the operation of the land.

    I've been here 5 years and never received anything like this before.  Is this related to NAIS?

    •  Was the number a 7 digit number? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, blueocean, bluebuckaroo

      The NAIS premise id number is 7 digits and contains both alphabetic and numeric characters.

    •  Oh..good grief..that is creepy.. (5+ / 0-)

      I am sorry, but this is stuff of nightmares...

    •  Welcome to the system! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dewley notid, RubyGal, KimD

      If Sacred's sources are right, you can expect a visit; anytime, without a warrant.

    •  It is probably a premise number (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lu3

      and most if not all farms have a number. Are you involved in any government programs?

      Original numbers were simply used for identification and locating the farms and to discern operations from one another.

      The premise numbering program is newer. It is part of NAIS, and yes, you might expect a visit for a county agent type, but don't be alarmed. Just try to find out all you can about its purposes. Then do some research and see how you feel about it.

      The new numbering may have more to do with Homeland Security and FEMA and the protection and seizure of farms and crops in case of disaster or other incident.

      •  I'm not involved in any programs, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth, marina

        but the previous owner of the property was.  Interestingly, he had 4 horses and the property was classified as farmland for tax purposes.  The year after we purchased it, the Tax Assessor reclassified the property from Agricultural to Rural Residential and our property taxes doubled.  Even though I have more than the minimum 10 acres required to be a farm in Wisconsin, they told me that I wasn't really operating a horse farm unless I have at least 4 horses and am breeding one every year.  Since mine are geldings, I guess for tax purposes I'm not a farmer.  Maybe I should get some chickens and sheep.

        •  They want the taxes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kalmoth, lu3

          I have a friend in a similar situation. I believe this is a local zoning matter, but you might want to appeal the decision.

          If you could grow and sell, say, $1000 worth of hay or other crop per year, or sell a horse, you might qualify as a farm. Talk to your Farm Service Agency to see what else you can do to earn farm status. They are probably familiar with your farm from the previous owner and would be aware of its potential.

  •  Rec list?!? (13+ / 0-)

    This is embarrassing for dk.  

    I guess if you combine your hair-pulling hyperbolic nonsense with a big enough mish mash of facts and figures, we're supposed to be terribly impressed.  

    "Take off yer pants and dance." -Abraham Lincoln

    by Sun dog on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:08:07 AM PST

    •  You are incorrect..this diarist has been (4+ / 0-)

      posting consistently wonderful and thoughtful diaries about issues that many many people find useful..why don't you go elsewhere if you don't think this diary is worthy of your eyeballs..

      •  It's not a blanket condemnation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth, Treg

        of the diarist.   I was addressing the ridiculous tone of this particular diary.  The worst day in Ag history?  Wow.  

        No, I am not referring to Obama selecting Vilsack for the USDA though it is a blatant betrayal not only of his promise of sustainable agriculture but of "change" and "grassroots" anything.

        A blatant betrayal?  The appointment of someone is a blatant betrayal?  

        It's just that these over the top responses to appoiontments are getting really silly.  Because Vilsac has sucked on certain issues as governor doesn't mean those are the policies of the Obama administration.  Let's hammer the policies if we get bad policies.  

        "Take off yer pants and dance." -Abraham Lincoln

        by Sun dog on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:51:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If you read other diarists (7+ / 0-)

      such as OrangeClouds or shirah, you will find more info on this subject. Scared human is not far off the mark in being concerned.

    •  Hi Monsanto PR guy (6+ / 1-)

      Keep commenting like this and folks will think you are trolling.  This is a very reasonable and true diary.  I have been dealing with small organic, sustainable animal farmers for over a decade.  I have Amish and Mennonite farmers who are going through this here in PA and MD and I also get food from Joel Salatin in VA.  He has written extensively on what the USDA is doing to businessmen/farmers like himself.  My favorite book title of his is "Everything I Want To Do is Illegal". To read more go to:http://www.polyfacefarms.com/ and click on resources.

      •  Regardless of its content (5+ / 0-)

        It's rambling and barely coherent.  I would suggest that the diarist have somebody edit his or her next effort, and pare it down to the essential ideas, presented clearly.

      •  Uh, please explain the reasonable and true claims (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth, chick ghandil, Sun dog

        You are exemplifying the exact thing the commenter is criticizing the diarist for.  This diary is unsubstantiated.  

        How on earth is the NAIS program related to some grand world scheme to turn American land into collateral for American Government debt?  I would really like to see this explained, because the diary doesn't do that, despite the diarist's supposed reputation that you are purporting.  

        Give me a f'ing banana - Eddie Izzard

        by linc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:04:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Monsanto PR guy? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth, chick ghandil, Sun dog

        You dropped your pitchfork.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Proud to support President-elect Obama

        by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:48:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Monsanto PR guy? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lestatdelc, kalmoth, chick ghandil

        You're addressing me?  

        What is with people on this thread?  

        I have been a part of an organic farm right here in Iowa, you goof.  I'm not happy about the Vilsac pick either.  

        What the hell are you talking about?  

        "Take off yer pants and dance." -Abraham Lincoln

        by Sun dog on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:55:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Currious (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sun dog

          What are you concerns about Vilsack's nomination?

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Proud to support President-elect Obama

          by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 11:17:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He's the worst person in the world! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kalmoth

            He'll demand that we all plant victory gardens of chemical corn!

            I actually share the concerns of the diarist that Vilsac doesn't have a history (that I know of) of championing sustainable agriculture or even small farms.  

            He's not (that I know of) such an evil person either and I'm not jumping to conclusions on appointments.  I don't buy that the history of each individual being appointed now automatically represents the policy of the Obama Administration.  He needs people to get jobs done.  Policies still come from the top.  Vilsac's agenda in Washington will be broader and sometimes counter to his specific goals as governor of the state of Iowa.  He might do a good job.  Worst Day in Agriculture History, or whatever this diary was titled is just off the hook goofy.  

            "Take off yer pants and dance." -Abraham Lincoln

            by Sun dog on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 12:30:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fair enough (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sun dog

              I thought you might have a perspective on why you were not happy with the pick, but sounds more like a case of 'don't know if this is good or bad' yet, hence not being happy with the pick.

              cheers,

              Mitch Gore

              Proud to support President-elect Obama

              by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 03:28:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's a little more than that (0+ / 0-)

                It's just that farm policy in Iowa has felt wrong to me the whole time I've lived here.  Iowa has the potential to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet.  Small corners of it are.  But the main thinking goes back for a long time.  Cut it into a grid, apply maximum technology to exctract the most of whatever there is a market for huge quantities of.  Even if you need to use the government to help create that market.  

                It should strongly support the people who want to make a go at organic, sustainable farming because that's what brings out the potential of the land.  That's what could make it one of the best places anywhere to live.  We should support ecotourism.   And set some genuinely big chunks off in parks to run wild for people and critters and plants to just be on.  Right now we can only theorize what a wild stretch of this fertile land might even be like.    

                I couldn't be governor of Iowa without pushing for at least whatever changes in that direction are possible.  I didn't really see Vilsac doing that.   He was ok but he just fit into the way of doing things.  

                I don't see a leader there but I think a lot of Obama's appointments are an acknowledgement of how hamstrung we are by the crap the Bushies are leaving.  When you're beyond broke and you have to find a way just to get the economy chugging again, it's not necessarily the time to run wild.  

                I look forward to seeing where we go over the next eight years at least.  This first one is like triage.  

                "Take off yer pants and dance." -Abraham Lincoln

                by Sun dog on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 11:26:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks for expanding on that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sun dog

                  I fortunately live in a state (Oregon) where land-use planning is a deeply embedded tradition so protecting green-space and undeveloped areas of the state is codified into much of our land-use laws.

                  We still have major issues in dealing with timber-based communities who are hurting because we limit (rightly so I posit) exploiting our forests and wild-spaces for timber. But I think we here in Oregon at least have a fair fight on those issues as opposed to a heavily lopsided and powerful political lobby opposing protections of forrest and wild-space from development and exploitation.

                  cheers,

                  Mitch Gore

                  Proud to support President-elect Obama

                  by Lestatdelc on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 04:43:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  hide rated for flaming a fellow Kossack... (0+ / 0-)

        hide rate will be removed if an apology is offered. Please do not resort to name-calling.

    •  I guess "hair-pulling hyperbolic nonsense" is not (0+ / 0-)

      hyperbolic.

      Why is it that the minute something shows up on the rec list that someone either doesn't understand or isn't personally tuned in to, then it's a sad day for a community of 160,000?

      There's hyperbole.

      I'm sure you read the whole diary, each and every word...

      George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

      by snafubar on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:11:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh Noes!!! I must haz Regulation!!!!??? (10+ / 0-)

    Hilarious how if Monsanto/Pfizer wants to do something, we need REGULATION (and we do) but if a 'sustainable farmer'/'herbal healer' wants to do something, we should all just trust that the magical nomenclature 'natural' will protect us.

    •  The Amish are perfectly harmless (4+ / 0-)

      Unless you are a woman, or a child, then you might take a regular savage beating...  But, hey, nothing like those bastards in Big Ag who ... grow food!

      "What Do You Want for Christmas, Crow?" "I want to decide who lives and who dies."

      by Larry Madill on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:51:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are a freelance screenwriter in LA? (4+ / 0-)

        and you have something to contribute to the comments on a diary that deals with Monsanto and the issues surrounding sustainable agriculture?

        Why don't you visit some of the great organic farms near you..if you can find some..and talk with the people who are working with the earth.  That would be a good first start for you so that you might become more familiar with what they are going through..seeds honey..just look at the issue of seeds..

    •  Baloney. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, cynndara, dewley notid

      Organic farmers are among the most regulated (and well documented) folks out there.  Check out the National Organic Protocol to see what they have to live up to.

      Yeah, there are unscrupulous folks out there touting their modern day patent medicine.  There always will be, but the conceit that Monsanto/Pfizer shouldn't be regulated is a load of manure.  I don't see this statement as any different than folks who say "the market will police itself." We can all see how well that turned out.

      As for the NAIS, let's focus on where the biggest problems with diseased meat have occurred.  The CAFOs.  These are the same people that are exempted from registering and chipping every cow. They get to register a herd, where the small farmer has to bear the expense of registering and chipping each and every cow.  

      •  I said Monsant/Pfizer SHOULD be regulated (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jxg, kalmoth

        I don't see a really good reason to exempt everyone who is a "small" producer from similar beneficial regulation, (or not not institute a regulation at all if it could harm small producers) which is what this diarist has claimed in this and past diaries.

        •  Ok (3+ / 0-)

          I didn't read that right.  Sorry.

          And I do concede that diarist is a bit incoherent/histrionic.

          I would argue, however, that the NAIS is a bad regulation in that it has built in loopholes that benefit large producers.  Specifically, a herd on a factory farm is treated as a single animal.  The rationale behind this is that the animals always travel together and face the same conditions at precisely the same time.  Small producers have the expense and paperwork of tracking each individual animal.

          If this isn't lopsided regulation, I don't know what is.  Even if you are a strong supporter of government tracking of animals, you can't deny that this is an inequity that's tilted in favor of the big guy.

          Anyhow...my .02.

  •  Conspiracy Theory Example? (8+ / 0-)

    I am sorry, a lot of this stuff is interesting, particularly the NAIS stuff that you mention, but NONE of the other parts are necessarily related to the NAIS system, unless that is, you believe that a cabal of world bankers has somehow convinced the US (powers that be) through the World Bank/IMF/UN to hock American lands for the purposes of debt financing.

    I am sorry, but American debt, i.e. Treasury Bonds, is only backed up by faith in the American economy and its ability to make good on any debt.  The day America defaults on that debt is the first day of the next world order and certainly not the day that the World Bank/IMF/UN swoops in to collect and evict.

    Yeah, parts of the NAIS and its enforcement suck, but this conglomeration of conspiracy ideas doesn't help its cause.

    Give me a f'ing banana - Eddie Izzard

    by linc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:57:32 AM PST

  •  No rec from me (10+ / 0-)

    this diary is incoherent

    This year we can declare our independence...Barack Obama

    by PalGirl2008 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:59:17 AM PST

  •  This a bold diary (3+ / 0-)

    Very bold.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:04:01 AM PST

  •  According to the diarist (3+ / 0-)

    This is the end of the world.  It sure doesn't feel like it when I see outside my office window.

  •  I'm having a difficult time... (5+ / 0-)

    ...slogging through this diary to find out what's so bad about NAIS.

    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    by TheOrchid on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:21:48 AM PST

    •  It unfairly burdens small farmers and lets the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina

      .... larger farmers stick it to them.

      No the diary certainly isn't perfect but the subject matter is important.

      "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

      by AmericanRiverCanyon on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 12:39:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  it's unnecessary (0+ / 0-)

      and creates unnecessary bureaucracy and costs.

      •  quite useful (0+ / 0-)

        As someone who works (occasionally) on the risk of foreign animal disease threats, such as foot and mouth disease, I think the animal tracking system is an extremely positive move.

        The animal tracking system would provide extremely valuable information that could be used to plan public and animal health responses.

        Also, "premise" is more general than property, although a property is one sort of premise.  The reason the language prefers "premise" is that many people keep their animals on someone else's property.

        There is no nefarious plot here -- it's simply a way of gathering information that the government needs.

        BTW, everyone should go back and watch HUD, in honor of Paul Newman.  Remember the event?  FMD outbreak on Big Daddy's ranch.

  •  Rec List, Really? (13+ / 0-)

    DailyKos doesn't know what to do with itself now that Obama has won.  

    Is today REALLY the most terrible day in the history of US farming?  Really?

    I'm shocked to learn that 1 in 12 Americans do not know that the bird, is in fact, that word.

    by dansac on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:25:41 AM PST

  •  I was on board with yesterday's Monsanto story (8+ / 0-)

    about how they're screwing farmers by patenting seeds. That was real. This reads like something out of a Spielberg epic mixed with a bizarre rant from those 9/11 was an inside job folk. You should know, that once someone writes "World Banking Elite" it turns many people on here, off. I guess i'm saying congrats for the Rec list. But sorry, don't believe all this stuff.

    •  this diary reminds me of a Freeper Post (4+ / 0-)

      Do you ever visit Free Republic.  It's been a few years for me, but once when I visited there was a long rant about how the designation of lands as World Heritage Sites was part of a conspiracy to create a one-world government under the control of the United Nations.  

      This diary seems of a similar bent -- its actually kind of hard to read through the sinister slant on everything and identify the facts, but is diary contending that the designation of wilderness areas in the United States is some plot to provide collateral for something?  I couldn't even follow it.

      This is Elders of Zion stuff, and its getting recommended?  

      This site can be really disappointing at times.

  •  Subsidy Reform (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv
    The Farm Subsidies are a disgrace to all farmers.  It is more than apparent that corporate interests have overtaken common interests as far as American Agriculture is concerned.  Why are corporate farms, already making millions, getting a large share of subsidies from the US Government ?  It makes no sense.

    If Vilsack wants to make ANY impact for the Family Farm.  This is where it begins.  Then we'll see if Obama is indeed a friend of Farmers.

  •  Hyperbole. (6+ / 0-)

    It's what's for dinner.

    Omaha is Obama Country.

    by The Creator on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:42:49 AM PST

  •  Just a question and an observation: (4+ / 0-)

    If animals are not tagged then how do we actually know (really) where they are from? Personally I am avoiding any animal products, if I can, from out of the country. I only eat local meat and chicken.
    This is not a rhetorical question.

    And I think the reason we should be worried is that there is a history of not-so-good intentions coming from our government and large corporations. Which we only hear about 20 years later after all the guilty parties are dead.
    So we are wise to look at any new regulation or law with skepticism.

    And Monsanto, well just the fact that they started the brainwashing with their Disney ride is reason to be afraid, very afraid.

    And someone brought up cotton, great book on that; Big Cotton. That will tell you why Monsanto is interested in that crop. It has shaped the world.

    Nothing is done out of the goodness of their hearts. That is a fact.

    chance favors the prepared mind - pasteur

    by CaCowGal on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:44:26 AM PST

  •  The Primaries Are Key (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TruthNotOpinions, DHinIA

    The Democratic primaries are key to making the kinds of fundamental changes we need. We must find and support challengers in the next Democratic primaries, especially for the House, so that Democrats in Congress are forced to create a more progressive agenda.

    Those of us who support sustainable farming need to find good challengers to run in predominantly farm districts. This is the leverage point for pushing these people in the right directions.

    It's clear that the Obama Administration will not support progressive policies unless we force them to. The only effective way to force them to change course is to take out a couple of backward Democrats in Congress and replace them with progressive Democrats. Even forcing them to spend more money to stay in office can have a beneficial effect by making them pay in dollars and cents for poor policy. But, it's only when they start to worry about their jobs that they will really change course.

    •  This is a good idea.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, cynndara

      However, Iowa farmers don't, as a rule, trust Democrats. The Democratic primaries are not the problem. The problem is the general election almost everywhere.

      Farmers think Vilsack was way to "liberal." Liberals think Vilsack was way too conservative.  Vilsack was studiously oblivious to such name-calling, and as a result got a lot done, got re-elected and left the state ready for more Democrats to succeed here.

      In western Iowa, you have Steve King (R-Heaven). Attila the Hun would run to the left of him. Better primary battles are beside the point there.  

      In IA-4, where I live, the farmers overwhelmingly vote for Tom Latham (R-ConAgra), who owns a seed company and looks like a congress-critter.  We have run a series of excellent candidates at him, and nobody comes close.  The best time to take that seat will be when Latham runs for the Senate, where he can be beaten by Culver or Vilsack or Braley, but before then, a primary won't help.

      Leonard Boswell had a primary battle this year from a guy (Ed Fallon) that holds perfect views if you're the writer of this particular diary, but who is less likely to be effective than Dennis Kucinich would be on the Ag Committee.  Boswell is to the right of Vilsack, but to the far left of King and Latham.

      Vilsack, when he was in the Iowa legislature cleverly lead the fight to scuttle the most serious attempt to re-instate the death penalty in Iowa. Iowans Against the Death Penalty (site is down for some reason).  He was excellent on water purity, and is a forward looking guy.

      Educate yourself. Think for yourself. Be yourself. Do for others.

      by DHinIA on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:29:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why does this shit get recommended (8+ / 0-)

    There is a good diary to be written on this subject but this isn't it.

    I think that I have broken down the diarists method though:

    1. Google the topic of the day
    1. Close eyes (and don't reopen them until the diary is published)
    1. click anywhere on page
    1. copy random chunk of text
    1. paste into word processor.
    1. repeat at least 50 times.
    1. Copy resulting word salad into DKos diary form
    1. Hit Publish
    1. Wait for all the idiots who are impressed by long rambling diaries or unsubstantiated vague attacks on the corporate enemy to rec.

    Seriously, why are we putting this over emotional unscientific crap on the rec list?

  •  I will be brief. (11+ / 0-)

    I live in the middle of Iowa. My inlaws are all small farmers. I have been very active in politics, including agriculture politics in Iowa.  I have witnessed first hand the ups and downs of Iowa farming since 1964.

    Anybody who believes it is realistic to remake agriculture on the model of the Amish (who are absolutely wonderful people) are living in a fantasy world.  

    I will not comment on everything in the diary, since that wastes my time.  I'm sorry and outraged at injustice to farmers and anyone else. I don't like corporations killing off small farmers. I want strong government oversight of the food supply. I want sustainable agriculture.  

    I don't like to see my favorite go-to site for political discussion lapping up points of view that ultimately are not reality based, just because they are referenced and long. This diary is counterproductive.

    No rec here.

    Educate yourself. Think for yourself. Be yourself. Do for others.

    by DHinIA on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:53:48 AM PST

    •  Thank you... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      murrayewv, DHinIA

      for a cold splash of reality.

      •  this diarist.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SnowCountry

        keeps getting recommended for this emotional stuff.  The tags are for tracking epidemics and mad cow disease.  They use these tags in WalMart too- so who is freaking out over that?  It is a quality/recall thing.  Last diary before this was all wazzed out over peole butchering cattle at home and selling the meat and getting arrested for that.  Guess what folks- that isn't FDA approved for safety.  Fix the system we have, sure but don't abandon it.

        You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

        by murrayewv on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 02:10:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I just tried to read this again (11+ / 0-)

    to make sure that my comprehension skills are not at the root of my problem with this diary. It really is the diary - please people there is still redemption if you unrecommend.

  •  The Bible prohibits tagging animals? Golly, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv, hormiguero, chick ghandil

    I just did a thorough search and couldn't find that language.

  •  This diary has a few good points (5+ / 0-)

    and a lot of tin-foil-hattery.

    I'm sorry, but I can't rec this, despite the fact that some of it is important.

    "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jrooth on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 09:03:51 AM PST

    •  I'm not even sure it's on point... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, jrooth, RandomActsOfReason

      .. I thought this was a case about Amish puppy-mills, and regulation of unlicensed & inhumane dog breeding, which (sadly) Amish breeders have gotten away with.

      The fact that this is in Wisconsin makes me really suspicious...

      REAFFIRMED as a second-class citizen since Nov 4, 2008!

      by Timoteo on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:07:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry, no rec (4+ / 0-)

    There's plenty of legitimate meat (if you'll pardon the pun) to discuss here, but this diary isn't it.  Way too much hand-waving, unsupported assertions, and a helping of wackiness.  Since I'm going to be called a Monsanto plant, I'll reiterate that my criticism of this diary does not suggest my criticism of the topic.

    baseless outrage : Republicans :: tuna : my cat

    by socratic on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 09:28:48 AM PST

  •  Read about the british sheep slaughter in 2001 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, AmericanRiverCanyon

    to understand more about farmers' fears about livestock registration.

    The widespread problems in Great Britain with Mad Cow, Foot and Mouth disease and other problems led to the widespread slaughter of livestock on farms adjacent to  farms found to harbor infected animals.  Thousands of rare breed animals, some bred by the farmers ancestors for hundreds of years, were slaughtered, even though many of these "near-by" animals were not themselves infected.

    A very cogent and chilling account of the slaughter can be found at

    Silent Spring, Silent Summer, Silent Autumn?

    The British policy of slaughtering herds and flocks of animals on farms located in close proximity to those with infected animals was designed to protect the market for large scale farms.  The government believed that overseas buyers needed to be convinced that every possible measure needed would be taken to keep this disease out of exported British meat.

    The smaller farmers believed that a far wiser policy would have been to vaccinate all animals in affected areas.  This might have meant a moratorium on export of meat, but it would have protected the animals on small farms from unnecessary slaughter.

    Many advocates for small farms both in Britain and the U.S. believed that the British government was using the outbreak of Foot and Mouth and the other diseases as a "convenient opportunity" to economically break the back of small farms that were in competition with the larger factory farms.

    •  This reminds me of a story... (0+ / 0-)

      Imagine the idyllic sunset in the British countryside, with two cows grazing on a lovely meadow... except that there is thick black smoke on the darkening horizon.
      "What's that smoke?" one cow says.
      "It's the Weecacksplatter farm. The government said their cows were going mad, killed them all, and burned them," - the other cow responds.
      The first cow sheds a tear and says, "How sad. Mad cow disease. I feel so sorry for the poor creatures, and yet so relieved that it's not contagious to us penguins."

  •  No militia movement/constitutionalist crap (5+ / 0-)

    I was with you until you posted that kangaroo court stuff. Sorry, but it really undermines your credibility.

    "And life is grand/and I will say this at the risk of falling from favor/With those of you who have appointed yourselves/To expect us to say something darker."

    by Oregon Bear on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 09:38:32 AM PST

    •  I beg to differ... (0+ / 0-)

      Sorry, but it really undermines your credibility.

      On the contrary, it's consistent with the diarist's earlier works. Which were usually flamed to kingdom come. Now nothing of substance has changed, but they go to the rec list for some reason. Could be post-election silly season on DKos, could be that better diaries don't get written on some important issues (like the mess we are in because of the monopolies fucking with the copyright laws).  

  •  I have no love at all for the World Bank (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lestatdelc

    but I'm not sure you're on to anything there.

    Recommended for the NAIS alarm, though. It's not so much that tagging is a bad idea in itself, it's that the corporations implementing it are not trustworthy, specifically in the sense that they have a long and disgraceful history of hiding anticompetitive and punitive laws under a cover of public health legislation. As someone who really is working for the public health this infuriates me.

    [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

    by oldjohnbrown on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 09:50:13 AM PST

    •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldjohnbrown

      The only thing that really makes me pause about the NAIS is the privatizing of the monitoring, which is par for the course from the GOP administration and trends of GOP legislatures over the past decade and a half.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Proud to support President-elect Obama

      by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:43:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  NAIS goes with USDA's scorched earth (0+ / 0-)

        policy for disease control, where they find a disease that could cause economic damage, and their response is to slaughter every possible animal who could carry that disease within a certain radius, with the assumption that animals are interchangeable and simply property. No allowance for rare genetic stock, for family pets, for unusual training, or for any other consideration. The value is the carcass value only.

        IE: USDA wants to know how many pet chickens my daughter has so they'll know how many bodies to gas. (Or, as in an unfortunate incident a few years back, feed into a wood chipper.)

        NAIS is not just monitoring animals in the food supply. And, it's expensive: a factory farmer can use one tag and one report for 1,000 chickens. I have to tag and report on each animal. The tags, over a chicken's lifetime, cost more than a whole raw slaughtered chicken at a supermarket. It is a huge additional cost for small producers or for people growing their own food.

        NAIS applies to horses, too, and in that case, if you tag and track the movements of the horse, you're also tagging and tracking the movements of the owner.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 03:26:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sorry (4+ / 0-)

    But your title is way too over the top, and the diary is cluttered and poorly written.

    In my mind, the most terrible day in history for US farming was when the US Patent Office gave corporations the right to patent living organisms such as corn seed.

  •  the government is too powerful (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cynndara, James Kresnik

    We've let the cat out of the bag in the drug war, and for a generation now, government has been running around telling people how to live their lives.

    The perspective I would bring to this is that this is not happening in a vacuum of agricultural policy or protecting the food supply. This fits in the larger context of corporations joining with the state for profit and/or control, whether it's 'protecting people' by building prisons, spying on citizens, controlling animals, making no-fly lists, or many other activities with dubious benefits and copious Constitutional concerns.

  •  The Amish are a problem. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adocarbog

    They refuse to abide by building codes as well.

    If you don't want to follow the law, then you don't get to build anything.

    End of story.

    Building codes exist for a reason and everyone must abide by the standards they set or they don't get to build.

    Even if you're religious.

    Especially if you're religious.

    Why should a black guy in the inner-city have to install electrical and plumbing according to expensive strict standards while a white person in the country gets to ignore the law? Why should a hippie in the country have to abide by the law and install said electrical when an Amish person doesn't have to because of their religion?

    If the Amish get to ignore the law just because of their religion, then  you can forget about a society of law.

    Lots of inner-city folks would love to construct self-built structures like they do in the informal settlements in the rest of the world, but we don't allow it because construction must be done in a way that abides by the law.

    If black and hispanic people don't get to break the law out of necessity and tradition, then it disgusts me that people would let the Amish do it just because they're "nice white people."

    •  Religious freedom which does no harm to others (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stagemom, eXtina

      .... and  city zoning vs ag.

      Straw man argument. Stuff it.

      Can't believe how many Republican trolls have infiltrated this site.

      "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

      by AmericanRiverCanyon on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 12:34:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  children, play nice! n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  No, I'm part "Pennsylvania Dutch" and you're an (0+ / 0-)

          .... ass.  

          "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

          by AmericanRiverCanyon on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:12:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Being German is no excuse for (0+ / 0-)

            breaking the law.

            The law is just as important in the sticks as it is in the burbs or in the city.

            If the Amish want to change the law, then they can busy themselves with their legal case.

            Until then, they should have to abide by it.

            Just because they're white doesn't mean they get to do whatever they want.

            If a bunch of hispanics moved out into the sticks and wanted to build their  own homes by their own rules and claimed that since they do that in Mexico and their Christian forefathers have done it for centuries...

            nobody's going to allow them to do it.

            The Amish are acting like clowns.

      •  Great! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth

        Now since I'm a Mormon, I can go marry 10 women.

        But of course a woman can't marry 10 men, since there's no legitimate religion in America that would allow it.

        And if legitimacy isn't important... then maybe I worship breasts and penises...

        Maybe now that I'm a Satan Worshipper or a Worshipper of the Spring and Fertility, I can walk around with my dick hanging out.

        Nope.

        Religious freedom doesn't mean you get to  break whatever laws you want. That's the basis for our democracy. That's the basis for separation of church and state.

        The Law is the Law and it applies for everyone.

        Even if you believe in Fairy Tales.

  •  Am I the only one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShempLugosi, Iamyouareme

    not surprised that Obama is merely a politician who said all the right things to get elected? I did vote for him, but I never expected him to be a progressive savior.

  •  To summarize... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, parryander, murrayewv

    my impression of the diarist's earlier rec list contribution still applies:


    This diary...

    is kind of like really nice home-made raspberry jam for some reason mixed with used-up utility knife blades.

    Something important may be said, but in an incoherent manner, and important bits are mixed up with shrill conspiracy theory fodder.  

  •  The minute I heard of the Vilsack appointment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon, eXtina

    I thought about him and the Clintons.  I know in my heart that Vilsack is "in his/her pocket" as well as that of Monsanto.  I'll feel a bit better about all of this if Caroline Kennedy gets the NY Senate seat as I think she will be for a more progressive agenda compared to Hillary.  In the meantime I hope Obama looks out for the US food supply.  I now buy mostly organic (especially animal foods) but am resolved to do even more even though my husband and I are over 70.  But I fear for younger people and what the additives to the food supply are doing to them.  

  •  I am officially (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Iamyouareme, eXtina

    very disappointed in Obama`s picks. Considering Obama himself is our last hope, this isn`t looking good. Something tells me i will be campaigning against him in 4 years...we have been sold down the river

    I love the smell of napalm in the morning

    by Jazzenterprises on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 12:15:53 PM PST

  •  Small farmers (0+ / 0-)

    are a resource to be cherished..not agribusiness..but the knowledge of farming that dates back forever.

    Think Tank. "A place where people are paid to think by the makers of tanks" Naomi Klein.

    by ohcanada on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 12:54:39 PM PST

  •  Commercial livestock or all livestock? (0+ / 0-)

    If the USDA is going to try to make lebensraum for Big Ag by going after farmers who intend to compete with them by selling what they produce, then there just might be a loophole.

    If we, the real food movement, abandon farming (a commercial activity) in favor of what is technically keeping pet chickens or goats whose products are never sold, not even on the small scale of Amish farmers, then it may not be possible for the USDA to regulate us on the grounds of food safety since no-one's at risk.

    The same might well be true for plant farming: maybe it's not legally farming if it's not done commercially - "I'm just gardening, officer; I don't sell anything you see here."

  •  The sky is falling.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HGM MA

    I think it's great that folks are so ignorant of the realities of our food production system that they can wail on about things of which they have no working knowledge confident there is absolutely no chance they'll ever be hungry themselves.
    Monsanto is the boogy man!  Woe is us!
    You anti-ag folks are nuts!  At least the president-elect is showing his concern for the rest of us in his choices for cabinet positions, including ag secretary.

    •  oh man (0+ / 0-)

      being anti Monsanto is being pro ag. Monsanto is trying to make so that no farmer can gather seeds and grow their own product without paying royalty to Monsanto because Monsanto has been allowed to own genetic code. I bet you'd be real happy if Monsanto managed to inject some of their genetic code into your blood stream and then didn't allow you to reproduce without paying them a royalty.

      I think that no company has a right to own genetic code. It belongs to nature to all of us.

      http://www.opednews.com/...

      I have been reporting on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's raids on Mennonite dairy farmers, on the recent Ohio Department of Agriculture SWAT team raid on an organic coop, on the USDA's terrible weapon against all farmers with animals (NAIS - the National Animal Identification System) - trying to give an idea of the destructive forces being used intentionally against non-corporate farming.  

      But unless one sees what is happening to seeds themselves, one misses the scope of things.

      Life itself depends on seeds.  

      Multinational biotech corporations such as Monsanto have been genetically engineering them, promoting GE-seeds as producing better yields, helping the starving of the world, using less pesticides and as a boon to small farmers.  

      Independent studies already show crop failures

      http://www.i-sis.org.uk/...  

      http://www.news.cornell.edu/...

      and a link between GE-crops and organ damage and various
      diseases

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/...

      and it's clear they are designed to require petroleum-based pesticides and the use of pesticides has gone up with their use.

      http://www.pan-international.org/...

      But even if the GE-seeds were wonderful and all that was promised, the real problem with them are the patents they come with.  The biotech companies are monopolizing seeds themselves, actually privatizing the DNA of life.  They sell the GE-seeds at many times the price of normal seeds.  In India, where Bt-cotton farmers have been committing suicide in huge numbers because of debt, Monsanto sells Bt-cotton seed at 1000% higher than normal seeds.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

      And the seeds come with a contract that must be signed, preventing farmers from collecting seeds off their own land at the end of the season - an historic rupture of humankind's free access to natural growth.  For it is important to notice that the biotech multinationals are not just claiming a patent on their process of altering the seeds but claim to own growth itself.

    •  I live in farm country. I have a farm. (0+ / 0-)

      We don't want NAIS.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 03:28:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How did this make the rec list? n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, parryander, HGM MA

    QWERTY

    The White Race can not survive without dairy products - Herbert Hoover (-8.75,-8.36)

    by alain2112 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 02:31:49 PM PST

  •  What the hell is this? Why is this on the rec lis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, parryander

    This is all about tracking animals??  Really?  I know everyone has their issue, but what? Are we trying to protect livestock civil rights here or something?  Are you trying to "protect" these animals from mad scientists?  Not all bio-tech is bad, and secondly I hardly think this is some plot to secretly alter DNA of all livestock.

    Am I missing something or do I smell a bit of paranoia?

    Who needs political enemies, when you have concerned friends?

    by HGM MA on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 02:46:39 PM PST

    •  This is really funny. When you search Miller on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, HGM MA

      this diary, only the diarist even mentions the subject in his comments.  There are 400 something comments, 99% are on other subjects.  But, yet it is rec'ed for no reason.  Wish I could tap into this effect in my diaries.

    •  You are missing much (0+ / 0-)
      1. Horses are tracked. If you are tracking my horse, you are tracking me.
      1. Small agriculture is further disadvantaged, because they are expected to track and tag individual animals, while large producers are allowed to track groups of thousands of animals as one. The cost to tag and track will be more than the retail price of a commercial chicken.
      1. IMHO, it's a violation of my civil rights for the government to come on to my property and kill my animals because someone else's animals are sick.

      Let me put it this way: if I passed a rule that said you had to microchip your dog and register with a government agency every time you took your dog anywhere, even if just to the park or to a relative's house, would you find that invasive of your privacy?

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 03:32:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a bit of a far fetch example.. (0+ / 0-)

        don't get a dog then.  I think tracking livestock is a good idea in case one needs to monitor against diseases like mad cow.  I am not for mutant livestock, but this can be simply fix with adequate labeling on food and all its by product.  Then the sole responsibility lies with the consumer if they wish to ingest the stuff.  That however does take advocacy, but the whole militant anti big Ag thing, I think is overblown.  

        To mix food production with the government being able to track you is a stretch to say the least.  Kind of like black helicopters chasing after an Amish buggy, it just doesn't make sense.

        Hay whatever floats your boat, but to me it's just not an issue high on my radar.

        Who needs political enemies, when you have concerned friends?

        by HGM MA on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:29:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If USDA wants to track mad cow (0+ / 0-)

          they'll have to start by testing for it. So far their main action has been to actively prohibit farmers for voluntarily testing for it.

          My horse isn't intended to be anyone's food, not ever. So why does USDA want to track him?

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 11:51:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Mad cow and puppy farms (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Not2Me, kalmoth

    The Amish faith does not trump our rights as a society to have safe food nor our desire that they treat animal in a humane way.  If the Amish wish to sell thier farm goods to us then they must comply with our standards.  If the they want to abuse animals and use unsafe practices on animals for thier own community use, then they will be the ones who suffer.

    •  How does NAIS make our food supply safe? (0+ / 0-)

      And note that NAIS is not just for food animals or food animals that are actually in the commercial food supply.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 03:34:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  January 12, 1888 - Nebraska's Schoolchildren's... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth

    Blizzard.

    Out of nowhere, a terrible blizzard caught rural schoolchildren as they headed home.

    The morning had been warm. Unseasonably so.

    This is false hyperbole, this title.

    Droogie is as Droogie does....

    by vets74 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 03:53:20 PM PST

  •  labeling (0+ / 0-)

    is one way to take some of the decisions from Monsanto

  •  Foot and Mouth (0+ / 0-)

    I was living in UK during the foot and mouth. Post mortem it was the MAFFA inspectors who spread the disease. Those wheel, foot baths etc. When someone actually tested to see if effective. It took FIFTEEN MINUTES contact to disinfect. Walking thru, driving thru the disinfectant baths pointless.Inspectors coming to "inspect" your animals carried it onto your farm. One poster implied that we have advanced since the 1960's outbreak. Reality in UK was that Blair's office guys refused to listen to the farmers or oldtimers who contained the 60's outbreak. European vets were BEGGING them to vaccinate. Pro business Blair and his number crunchers refused because it would affect exports. While the no's of farmers putting shotguns in their mouths from seeing their lives destroyed skyrocketed.  I would only ask that people stop mocking and investigate this. This is not just a rural issue. It is about the survival of independent family  farming. I thought at first that it sounded like a good idea. Second and 3rd look-it's another regulation that benefits corporate farming. If you like pus in your milk -ENJOY.  But in the last 7 years I have seen my rural area change from family owned farms to factory ,corporate farming.                              Smallfarmers are being as inexorably squeezed out thru regulation as Mom and Pop stores by Walmart. All of you who are mocking and treating this like it's a crazy Mayberry issue remind me of the rural people who see no reason to understand Prop 8. I came here thru dislike of O Reilly. Am about to leave thinking he was right about daily Kos.

  •  Clinton Slam (0+ / 0-)

    Came from the fact that Clinton introduced franchised chicken farming in Arkansas. It works for the farmer pretty much like the tenant farming you read about in Grapes of Wrath. Sounds good to a farmer desperate to keep his land but the end effect is the farmer loses any independence and has to produce chickens in mass the way a sweatshop has to produce piecework. It's now almost the standard for the industry in pork and chickens and trying for beef.

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