To the editor:
If you value the quality of your food supply, a new threat needs your attention. The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), made up primarily of
factory-farming conglomerates, advocates a mandatory National Animal Identification System (NAIS). According to Jessica Prentice, author of "Full Moon Feast," the system would place disproportionate record-keeping burdens on small-scale farmers and people wanting to live a traditional rural life or grow their own food.
While each "free range" animal would have individual identification and records to keep, large corporate "factory farms" could count hundreds of animals kept in one confined area as one animal for record-keeping purposes.
The result would be fewer farmers raising free-range animals, plus agribusiness animals would be subjected to increased confinement, decreased mobility and even more inhumane treatment. This would also lead to further deterioration of our food supply because meat, eggs, dairy and other products from factory-farmed animals are deficient in nutrients and dangerously high in artificial hormones and antibiotics.
Although the NAIS system has been lauded as a way to track "mad cow disease," the unpublicized aspects of the proposal include the many ways it would negatively affect our food supply and the fact other tracking systems are already available. Legislators need to know which side of this food quality issue you want them to be on.