Look Out! Now NAIS Being Slipped in Via COOL -Country of Origin LabelingSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Look Out! Now NAIS Being Slipped in Via COOL -Country of Origin Labeling

5 October 2008 at 8:07:13 PM

NAIS is, at this point, voluntary. It needs to REMAIN so but the USDA is mounting further assaults into making it mandatory. Let's call it the COOL Trojan Horse

In April, the Agriculture Department approved the use of the radio-frequency tag, under the voluntary program of the National Animal Identification System. A 15-digit number is imprinted on the tag. The first three numbers are the country code and the remaining 12 numbers are the animal’s unique identifying number. Now, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is reserving the use of animal identification numbers with the 840 prefix for animals born in the United States only; hence the name “840” tag.

In April, the federal health inspection service implemented a key strategy in its business plan by purchasing a total of 1.5 million “840” tags to be used for animal disease control programs, including bovine tuberculosis (TB) and brucellosis. California has received 28,000 of the tags to support bovine TB testing.

The Texas Animal Health Commission has been issuing alphanumeric silver metal ear tags, known to producers as “brucellosis” tags, instead of the “840” tags, to tag the dairy animals involved in the state’s cattle tuberculosis program. The animal health commission said they would allow the use of “840” tags as identification also.

Now the 840-prefix animal identification numbering system is being promoted in accordance with the country-of-origin labeling (COOL). At present, it is only in the interim stages, with a notice being posted in the Federal Register for a comment period before final implementation.

The Agriculture Departments’ Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service promotes the “840” tags as a “convenient and cost-effective method” for documenting the origin of animals when slaughtered, under the country-of-origin labeling rules.

Opponents to the National Animal Identification System have warned from the initial implementation of the program that those involved with breed registry might unknowingly be included, and warned of other programs that may be added involving the identification system.

Mary Zanoni of Farm for Life warns that “anyone, in any state, who requests a cattle TB test, may encounter the possibility of having the animal(s) permanently placed in NAIS, which openly contradicts the USDA’s claims that the animal tracking system is voluntary at the federal level.” Farm for Life, an advocacy organization for small farmers, is against the NAIS program.

“Once NAIS is tied to an AMS-controlled program, small artisan producers will be forced into NAIS in order to use even simple marketing claims such as ‘naturally raised,’” Zanoni said.

Zanoni’s prediction is apparently coming true, when one reads data from the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Web site that includes:

•The Agricultural Marketing Service Business Plan is currently being partnered with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to advance the National Animal Identification System since January, and in March posted the business plan to advance the identification system.

•AMS will continue to use every opportunity to vigorously promote the National Animal Identification System through the marketing staff.

•AMS will coordinate through the country-of-origin labeling to create a safe harbor for the National Animal Identification System participants.

•The Agricultural Marketing Service will work with and encourage breed associations to use the identification system compliant ear tags in promotional photographs of live animals. In 2008, work began that ensures the American Angus and the American Red Angus associations’ use of the USDA’s “840” tags in their promotional materials.

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