I find it troubling that the states are pushing through NAIS without considering the "other side" of the story (that not promulgated by the government.) At a time where USDA officials now sit on the boards of companies like VeriChip, one has to wonder how incestuous and profitable this will be for special interests, while disastrous, costly and invasive for the "rest of us."
The centralization of data about our animals and food supply, as well as our buying habits and travel patterns, will only open us up to illicit sources. Companies like Microsoft and entities like the federal government are not very proficient at managing and protecting the data they already have at their disposal. Localization, or the proliferation of federated, local pools of data are more difficult to infiltrate or abuse, and they do a lot more to protect our freedoms and privacies as individuals entitled to the protections of the Constitution. The right to anonymity should also be inherent. I will not implant metal and glass transponders in my person, or that of my children or animals.
Whether research reflects it yet or not, I do not believe in implanting foreign bodies in a living creature when a phone system and current federated system of storing data is more effective.
We need to retain the freedoms we are losing in the name of "freedom." This NAIS program will make billions for Microsoft, chip makers and reader makers, and do little to make things more efficient than the local phone chains and local word-of-mouth that exist today. Anyone who has dealt with the government knows they are inefficient operationally and less capable at handling local manners than the local authorities. This will price me and others out of the business, and it will also take away the freedoms we are supposed to have to travel and move as we wish without labels or possibility of being "tracked."
You can see how much safer local farm products and meat are compared to the risks you take when buying commercial food from large "producers." A push toward more efficient localization of data is the way to go, not NAIS.
A forum for all farmers and animal owners should be held at times when people are not working or in school and in locales that are accessible, and both sides of the story should be presented fairly. So far, the "studies" I've seen have been very cleverly worded to mask the cons (as well as the pros). That is shameful in a country that is supposed to be a Democracy.
--Susana Schwartz, Sherburne, N.Y.