Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Anyone who likes GOOD food, Act NOW!

NAIS (National Animal Identification System) is one way the government is showing preference for the large corporate farms and by contrast HARMING (often driving into bankruptcy) the smaller farms, which are usually owned and run by families. Those smaller farms tend to be more likely to be organic, and to use sustainable farming techniques instead of the "bigger better NOW" crops which deplete the soil and get delivered to our stores weeks after being picked, green and nutrient-deficient to begin with. Supposedly, this program (which tracks animals from birth) is meant to help our food be safer... but, as you'll read in my letter below, it won't neccesarily. My newest "beef" with it (hehe pun intended) : new legislation "snuck in" through new language in the Representative Appropriations Agriculture sub-comittee has made non-membership in NAIS even harder. Now school lunch programs can ONLY buy from NAIS affiliated farmers.

The full House Appropriations Committee will meet about the AgricultureAppropriations bill this Thursday, June 26. Sometime after that, it will go to the full House. We also need to contact our Senators now, to keep them from doing the same thing. Please contact (their websites allow you to find out who represents you and email them directly- it also gives phone & fax numbers if you can't email them or want to make your point VERY clearly) your
Senators, US Representatives and specifically Appropriations Committee members from your state and say something like this-- feel free to mimic or cut and paste portions:
(thanks to
John Moody for alerting me and helping me know what to say!)

I am a Kentucky resident loving living in downtown Louisville. I am writing because the Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee has inserted language requiring the School Lunch Program to ONLY buy meat from farms registered in the National Animal Identification System. Firstly, I am against NAIS. I most certainly do not want it to be tied to school lunch programs. NAIS, which tracks live animals, will NOT improve food safety: most food safety problems start at the slaughterhouse and food processing facilities (case in point: Hallmark/Westland Beef recall).

Secondly, this bill uses the government's power to economically force farmers into NAIS. That is not a "voluntary" program. Tying it to the school lunch program also undermines the growing farm-to-school program, which helps children get fresh, local, and sustainably raised foods. Funding for NAIS, particularly any mandatory NAIS, needs to be stopped.

Lastly, NAIS has never been specifically approved by Congress. This is a massive program, one that will impact millions of people, and it should be addressed in OPEN debate, not snuck in through appropriations.

Please call me back at my number listed above to let me know where you stand on this issue.

Sincerely, Christina Szrama

Let's pray the Lord is gracious and causes this bill to fail until modified!

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