Monday, September 17, 2007

NO to NAIS! Protect Your Animals and your Farms

September 10, 2007

Contact: Judith McGeary, 512-243-9404,


This weekend, Associated Press released a story
revealing studies that show microchip implants
may cause dangerous cancers in animals 20070908/APN/709080609
While these studies span a decade of research,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
recently approved an implantable microchip for
use in horses under the National Animal
Identification System (NAIS), raising yet more
questions about this controversial government program.

The NAIS is a government plan in which everyone
who owns even one livestock animal - even just
one horse or a chicken - would have to register
their property with the state and federal
governments. If made mandatory, each animal
would have to be individually identified, and
movements would have to be reported to a
government- accessible database. Although the
USDA states that NAIS is "technology neutral,"
the industry-government working group for horses
has already recommended that horses be
identified using an implantable microchip or
Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID).

Earlier this month, the USDA approved a specific
microchip for use in horses for the NAIS
program. The microchip is designed to be
implanted in the neck of each horse. The
NAIS-compliant device adds another layer of
technology to the previous microchips, by
capping each microchip with a material to secure
it in place within 24 hours of insertion into
the animal's body. Judith McGeary, Executive
Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance,
asks "What studies have been done on the
long-term health effects of this new
material? Could this material increase the risk
of cancer even more? Neither USDA nor the
microchip manufacturer have addressed the health
concerns of millions of horse owners who are
facing the possibility that they could be forced
to microchip their valuable animals - in many
cases, dearly-loved pets - with this microchip under the NAIS."

Human and animal microchipping share not only
the RFID technology, but common corporate
interests. The microchip approved for human use
is made by VeriChip, whose parent company owns a
55% interest in Digital Angel, the manufacturer
of the recently-approved microchip for
horses. McGeary, herself a horse owner, points
out, "Technology businesses have been integrally
involved in the development of the NAIS. While
the USDA ignores the concerns of animal owners
who will be directly impacted by NAIS, it works
closely with the corporations who could
potentially make millions of dollars. I urge
everyone to contact their elected officials and
demand that the program be stopped."

For more information, visit

The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) is a
non-profit organization that protects the
interests of independent agriculture. Founded
in 2006, FARFA has members in 35 states,
including farmers, horse owners, and consumers.
Over 300 media outlets have already picked up on
the AP news story about microchips and
cancer!! We have a great opportunity to get the
NAIS story in front of the public -- ACT NOW!

Working together, we can make our voices heard.