[Market-farming] Market-farming Digest, Vol 46, Issue 1

road's end farm organic101 at linkny.com
Thu Nov 2 22:54:28 EST 2006


On Nov 2, 2006, at 9:59 AM, Brigette Leach wrote:

> These blanket statements about
> contamination always being the fault of big operations simply isn't
> true.

If that's for me: I didn't mean that contamination was always the fault 
of big operations. Small operations can also certainly have problems; 
it depends a lot on the operation. What I meant was three things: one, 
that when large operations have a problem, the current food 
distribution system spreads that problem all over the country, while a 
problem caused by a small operation selling locally will be a smaller 
problem; two, that government regulations that claim to be trying to 
protect the food supply have in at least some cases been enforced 
against small operations even when those operations are producing clean 
food, but the government has in at least some cases not created or 
enforced regulations that would protect the food supply when doing so 
would require shutting down or causing major modifications in large 
enterprises; and three, that raising large numbers of animals in close 
confinement can encourage the spread of disease within those 
operations.

> The outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in Michigan, caused by free
> ranging white tail deer having contact with pastured dairy cows and
> their food sources, has cost producers of all bovine considerably, as
> well as tax payers [. . .]
> while bovine TB isn't easily transmitted to humans, it is most
> likely to be contracted when a hunter handles a contaminated deer,
> becoming exposed via of lungs and blood.
>
> How would you feel if someone in the northern part of your state had an
> outbreak of some disease, but you knew your animals were clean, still
> until USDA or your department of ag can get a handle on the area
> impacted, a moratorium is placed on all sales.

I do believe that traceback procedures can be useful. I don't think 
that NAIS is necessary for them. Organic producers have been providing 
traceback audit trail records for years, on both crops and livestock, 
without any need for the NAIS program.

And I don't see how NAIS is going to prevent hunters being infected by 
deer; or how it would guarantee that cattle in the southern part of a 
state had not been infected by deer, if cattle in the northern part had 
been (especially how it would guarantee this any better than traceback 
procedures such as are currently used by organic growers); or how 
either of those instances is going to be affected by tracing carriage 
horses with GPS implants.

  I think I will now shut up and go to bed.

-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
Fresh-market organic produce, small scale
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