By Doreen Hannes
HR 2749 AUTHORIZES NAIS and OTHER INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS
Congressional staffers have been telling people that HR 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, does not authorize the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Many organic groups have agreed with them. However, this is misleading. Though HR 2749 does not name “the” National Animal Identification System, it still authorizes the program. It also does not state that it legally authorizes Good Agricultural Practices, or GAP, partially comprising Codex guidelines on traceability and food safety, and the OIE’s Guide to Good Farming Practices including auditing, certification and inspections, disincentives for not participating in the form of fines, penalties, and loss of access to market, but it does. Is it possible that Congress was not aware of what it voted on? The bill was changed three times in a 24-hour period before passing the House 283-142 on July 30th, 2009.
Are these assertions about HR 2749 wild and unsubstantiated? Proving them is fairly easy—just understand “Good Agricultural Practices” (GAP), how the agencies of the World Trade Organization operate within member countries to achieve them and what comprises the actual jurisdiction of the FDA and USDA. A brief explanation follows, along with substantiating quotes from HR 2749.
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