Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, February 24, 2008

USDA Inspectors Missing in Action

The downer cow atrocity raises interesting questions. How much more of this crap is going on? And where are the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors? Food safety is supposed to be the most important mission of the USDA. Is it really?

Here's an interesting article that accuses the USDA of investing in a National Animal Identification System (NAIS) for big business at the expense of the meat inspection budget for us little guys.

Nearly $150 million has been spent on promoting NAIS ....NAIS money is often spent to bribe non-government organizations into a Public/Private Partnership to promote the NAIS. The Future Farmers of America were paid $633,000 to encourage FFA kids to get their parents to register their property into the program. In fact, if an analysis of the not-for-profit organizations that are promoting NAIS were published, it would be a pretty complete list of where the USDA's $150 million in NAIS money went.

International agreements limit the export of meat from countries that do not have an electronic tracking system. Therefore, big packers need to have an electronic system in place – regardless of whether it works or not – to maximize their exports. The tag and reader manufacturers anticipate a windfall, and the State Departments of Agriculture – some of which have been known to sign up state residents without their knowledge or permission – and the USDA anticipate a "full employment act" like none other.

Photo by Farm Sanctuary.

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