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The Hidden Impact of the National Animal ID Plan on Human Health

You may have heard about the National Animal ID System (NAIS) already, but what you may not know is the detrimental impact this program may have on your future ability to buy organically farmed meats.

The NAIS calls for the registration of all livestock premises and individual animals, and the tracking of all animal movements. The animals included in this corporate greed scheme are not limited to specific disease-prone varieties like chickens, cows and pigs, but includes all livestock, such as horses, llamas, sheep, goats, ducks, geese and turkeys.

Livestock premises include your backyard, traveling fairgrounds, mom-‘n-pop miniature farms and that barn where you keep your riding horse. The system proposes that each animal be micro-chipped and tagged with a seven-digit number, which is then registered in a national database along with its Global Positioning System coordinates, plus the name, phone number and address of the owner. Any time an animal leaves the premises, it would have to be reported to the database within 48 hours.

Now, if you don’t have chickens pecking in your yard, or keep a pet llama for the amusement of your kids, you may think you don’t care about any of this. However, any time the government decides to impose crazy regulations, it eventually turns out to affect the health and welfare of the average American.

In this case, organic farmers across the nation have blown the whistle, calling attention to the cost-prohibiting factor of this venture. Corporate-grown livestock would be allowed to be tagged as lots (as they are herded together by the thousands and never see the light of day), which wouldn’t cost these large-scale manufacturers much. They already have the mechanics in place for tagging and tracking.

Organic farmers and small private farms, on the other hand, are looking at adding unreasonable, fixed costs. This may either drive up prices for organic meats, or worse, drive them out of business altogether.

Agribusiness and veterinary pharmaceutical giants, including Cargill, Monsanto, the National Pork Producers and Pfizer, concocted the program together with manufacturers of animal ID and tracking systems. It’s quite clear who stands to gain from this expensive, intrusive, anti-natural foods system. All the more reason to stand behind our local farmers and put our money where it belongs—out of big business’ pockets, and in our local food growers’.

Mother Earth News June/July 2007