NAIS, the National Animal Identification System, intended to address large food safety problems like recalls, is now back as H.R. 814 or TRACE: Tracing and Recalling Agricultural Contamination Everywhere Act
The consequences to small, local producers of this bill, if passed, would be horrible. Our producers must constantly cross state lines for sales and processing, and would be required to install and maintan costly measures to comply – many of whom wouldn’t be able to as it would be fiscally not feasible, and would have to stop producing the healthful, more sustainable meat products we count on.
We do have a problem with safety in agribusiness – feedlots and chicken buildings containing thousands and thousands of birds are not healthy for the animals, and therefore not healthy for us. They do have problems with disease, and I can see that our representatives are trying to address those problems. But this bill is not going to be effective, and it does not address our needs.
H.R. 814 was introduced to Congress on February 3, 2009. It is now in committee: The Committee on Energy and Commerce and The Committee on Agriculture
Now is the time to start contacting our Representatives to let them know we do not want this bill.
In particular, Massachussettes folks should be contacting Ed Markey, who sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee. [And it's interesting to note that there are no representatives from VT, NH, ME, or MA on the Agriculture Committee right now.]
Find contact information for your representative here. Write or call. Email if that is the only way it will happen, but emails are the least effective (much better than nothing!)
Speak up for your food supply!