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October 11, 2006

Scared to eat

Spinach, carrots, and lettuce… oh my! Yes, we’re all supposed to be scared of our food supply.

Hysterical journalists complain, despite the fact the spinach problem was caught relatively quickly, contained, and sourced down to one distribution center. We need . . . More bureaucrats. More money. Tougher regulations. Heck, one network said we need a new, streamlined agency to oversee all the affairs of farms — too many alphabet soup agencies are involved and that’s just not tidy and efficient.

Essentially, they’re saying, “Upsize DC” or “Centralize DC.” Obviously, we don’t agree. In fact, we think a compelling argument could be made for Downsizing DC’s role in monitoring our food supply. Such an argument goes like this . . .

Killing customers is bad for business. The company wants them to buy, not die. The negative publicity hurts stock prices. The injuries and death mean lawsuits and damages. Responsible employees know heads will roll. Their insurance premiums will go through the roof. And sometimes the business in question even closes its doors after a scandal. Thus, these companies have every incentive to protect their customers.

What creative ways might they devise to protect their customers? Can the governing of agriculture be handled at the state level instead of the federal level?

But there’s something even more sinister at work here. We’ve talked about it before. The problem is something called Codex Alimentarius, a set of food codes created by the World Trade Organization. The purpose of these codes is to regulate all food and supplement offerings to make them consistent across the globe. Allegedly, this is good for trade, and it is if you’re a multi-national corporation or a government. But for the mom and pop farm it’s an expensive, complicated nightmare that could regulate and tax these farms out of existence. This would also diminish innovation and diversity in our food supply.

The multinational corporations and the internationalists want mom and pop dealt with — removed. Government regulation will be used to drive the family farm out of existence. It’s good for business.


We’re supposed to be scared to eat — and willing to accept any regulation that will protect us. And it’s in this environment that the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) was introduced. And the hype of recent days about our food supply is one more manipulation designed to pave the way for more federal government regulation, control, and taxation — the family farm, be damned.

The National Animal Identification System (or NAIS) is a corporate welfare program for agribusiness and surveillance technology companies. NAIS will drive family farms out of business and raise the price of your food.

For one thing, NAIS will force family farmers to obtain electronic tracking tags for each animal they own.

This is very bad deal for farmers. The cost of these tags will range from 3 to 20 dollars for each animal. There are many other fees associated with the program and very heavy fines for incorrect reporting.

These costs will destroy the small profit margins of family farmers. But these rules won’t apply to corporate-owned factory farms! Large corporate farms will need just one group tag to account for scores of animals. Can the corporate welfare be any more transparent than that?

NAIS is being implemented state by state, instead of by sweeping federal regulation. Sure, the Department of Agriculture is working with each state to make it happen. But as an Arizona state legislator told us, it’s happening nearly in secret. Most legislators don’t know or understand what they’re being asked to pass.

Here’s the pressure point for DC Downsizers: If the Department of Agriculture would stop pushing this animal tracking agenda, it would die.

Congress must stop the Department of Agriculture from pushing NAIS. And in order to move Congress, we’re going to need to push with a message on this issue. Please, send Congress a message telling them to stop all federal initiatives to implement NAIS or promote its passage in the states. You can do so here.

Don’t buy into the fear. Enjoy your food. Appreciate the fact that in the United States food is less expensive, more plentiful, and safer than virtually anywhere else. It’s a great country — an excellent place to eat. Let’s keep it that way.

Send a message to your representatives in Congress today.
And then, pass this message on to a friend.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.  

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