Agriculture Appropriations Bill Links NAIS to School Lunch Program!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chicks for better health, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. US Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), chairwoman of the House Agriculture
    Appropriations Subcommittee, has inserted pro-NAIS provisions into the Agriculture
    Appropriations bill for 2009. According to her press release, the bill would require USDA
    to purchase meat products for the School Lunch Program from livestock premises
    registered with National Animal Identification System beginning in July 2009. This is a
    back-door method for mandating NAIS through the power of the purse strings. The bill
    also provides a total NAIS funding level of $14.5 million or about $4.8 million above

    We must stop these provisions from going any further!

    The full House Appropriations Committee will meet to discuss the Agriculture
    Appropriations bill on Thursday, June 26. After that, it will go to the full House. So we
    need everyone to call the Committee members and their own Representatives as soon as
    possible! We also need calls to the Senate Appropriations Committee, to keep them from
    following DeLauro's lead.
    Take Action

    1) Call or fax your US Representative. You can look up who represents you at or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or toll-free at 866-

    2) Call or fax the members of the House Appropriations Committee who come from your
    State. The members are listed at:
    When you see a member who comes from your state, click on his or her name to get
    contact information.

    3) Call or fax your Senator if he or she is on the Senate Appropriations Committee. The
    members are listed at:

    With each person, ask to speak to the staffer who handles appropriations. If you get
    their voice mail, leave the following message, or something in your own words that
    makes the same points:

    MESSAGE: My name is ____. I am a constituent [or live in your state, if you aren't in their
    district]. I am calling because the House Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee has
    inserted language requiring the School Lunch Program to only buy meat from farms
    registered in the National Animal Identification System. I am against NAIS, and I do not
    want it to be tied to school lunch programs. NAIS, which tracks live animals, will not
    improve food safety because most food safety problems start at the slaughterhouse and
    food processing facilities. Funding for NAIS, particularly any mandatory NAIS, needs to
    be stopped. Please call me back at _____.

    When you talk to the staffer, be sure to make the same points as in the message, and
    expand on them with some of the talking points below.

    For more information, contact the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance at
    [email protected] or 866-687-6452.
    Talking Points

    In addition to the message above, here are some more talking points about why the NAIS
    provisions in the Agriculture Appropriations bill should be taken out. Pick one or two to
    focus on, and put them in your own words!

    * This bill uses the government's power to economically coerce farmers into NAIS. That is
    not a "voluntary" program.

    * This bill throws good money after bad, supporting a program that is not sound
    economically or scientifically.

    * USDA has presented no science to back up its claims that NAIS will address livestock
    * The USDA has never completed a cost/benefit analysis to show that NAIS is
    * NAIS will not improve food safety. The massive Hallmark/Westland beef recall this
    past year was caused by the slaughterhouse employees' failure to follow existing
    regulations for handling "downer" cows. Mandating NAIS on cattle producers will not
    make anybody obey the laws we already have.
    * NAIS will not help Americans compete in the world market. If it is mandatory, or even
    adopted by most producers, those who participate will not get premiums for their meat.

    * Pouring more money into the program is a waste of precious tax dollars that could be
    better spent on safety inspections at packing and processing plants, where most food
    contamination occurs.

    * Using the school lunch program to force farmers into NAIS undermines the growing
    farm-to-school program, which helps children get fresh, local, and sustainably raised
    foods. Local farmers should not be forced into an unpopular program that has nothing
    to do with food quality or safety in order to provide food for our children.

    * The claim that USDA has achieved 33% of its Premises Registration goal is wrong.
    USDA computes its percentage of premises registered based on farmers who answer the
    agriculture census. Hundreds of thousands of additional horse owners, families with a
    few chickens, suburbanites with a pet pot-bellied pig, and others like them are
    technically covered by NAIS, but USDA ignores them when it reports its supposed
    successes to Congress. The vast majority of people who will be impacted by NAIS either
    oppose it or are still unaware of it!

    * NAIS has never been specifically approved by Congress. This massive program, which
    will impact millions of people, should be addressed through full and open debate, not
    snuck in through appropriations.
    More Information

    DeLauro's press release is posted at: See pages 6-7
    for discussion of the NAIS provisions in the bill.

    DeLauro has supported tracking farms for some time. Her food safety bill from 2007
    included tracking all food from its origin to consumer's plates. Her press release on the
    school lunch initiative states, "We will also strengthen Animal ID and the National School
    Lunch Program including language to provide market-based incentives to strengthen
    both the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) and the National School Lunch

    The press release makes it clear that DeLauro supports moving the entire NAIS program
    forward: "The bill's report details specific implementation milestones to shine the
    spotlight on APHIS's delivery of NAIS. The Committee worked in consultation with the
    agency, and we largely derived these performance measures from the agency's own NAIS
    business plan. We are going to move well beyond tracking the number of premises
    registered and follow more closely how APHIS is using the money. The NAIS milestones
    include (1) 48-hour traceability standards for specific species; and (2) program
    administration deliverables."

    The actual bill language is not yet available. We will send a follow up alert when it is.
    This is going to be another hard fight to win. Several key committee members in both
    the House and the Senate support a mandatory NAIS, and will be glad for anything that
    moves us towards that. So we need everyone to call! Tell your friends and neighbors
    what is happening, and ask them to call also.

    Let your voice be heard!

    Judith McGeary
    Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance

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  2. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    Thank you for the numbers to call and SUPPORT NAIS...[​IMG]

    I believe I can speak to my representatives and tell them why I support NAIS legislation without some "boilerplate speech". If opponents to NAIS need a pre-prepared speech to oppose the program, maybe they need to do a little more research before accepting falsehoods as facts.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    [​IMG] Oh, yes, we need all the wasteful gov't programs we can get and they need to come in the back door since no one in their right mind would let them through the front. Sorry, but I hate the way bills piggyback on other bills like that. No wonder this country is in such a mess!
  4. Royal Blue

    Royal Blue In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2008
    Where my better half is
    For the past four years I have studied this NAIS. Whether or not you support it is your choice, but so is whether or not you cherish personal freedom. NAIS takes away your constitutional right to privacy. The USDA can come on your property at any time for any reason. They do not need your permission. They can take or kill your birds just because a commercial farm 20 miles away may have had birds with a possible sickness. If any one has been watching Cspan and the House of Rep. discussions on the farm bill, well, it is enough to make your stomach turn. I wish we could fire the whole bunch and start over. They don't care about school kids and lunch programs. Its all about money and special interest groups. If we the backyard flock owners appear to be cutting into the profits of the commercial farms, the USDA will come down on us, if they know who we are. That is the purpose of NAIS, to identify us.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2008

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