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Friday, 20 March 2009
Palin turns down millions in federal stimulus funding for Alaska
Topic: Govenor Palin
Published: Mar 19, 2009

JUNEAU — Protesting federal "strings," attached to stimulus funding, Gov. Sarah Palin said she doesn't want nearly half the estimated $930million Alaska is eligible for.

"Will we chart our own course, or will Washington (D.C.) engineer it for us?" Palin said.

She expected to file an appropriations bill this afternoon accepting about $251.5 million in stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, coupled with allocations of $262.6 million already requested for transportation and aviation projects for a total state take of about $514.1 million.

Missing in her bill will be millions that Palin said are contingent on the state increasing the size of government, chipping in more dollars, or passing new laws that Alaskans might not want.

Among the money left on the table is about $170 million for education, especially under TItle One and for special education; millions for health and human services, including medical records and immunization programs; about $17 million for Department of labor programs, including vocational rehabilitation; about $7 million related to public safety; and several million dollars for energy projects, including some weatherization funding.

Palin pointed out that the energy money appears to require the state to pass a building code, while other funds could result in more state employees and programs that can't be maintained in the future.

She said she's concerned about "managing expectations" of the people served by the state's programs.

In a press conference Thursday morning, Palin said she looks forward to a public discussion in the Legislature about other funding in what she dubbed a "growth of government package."

She said she hopes the Legislature will have enough time to take up the stimulus issues before an April 3 deadline for her to accept the federal money. It's unclear still if the Legislature will have additional time to evaluate the funds.

"I would hope that's going to be enough time," Palin said. She also said she won't "get myself in a box" by saying she will or will not veto measures by the Legislature accepting more money than she is advising.

Legislative leaders have already questioned how Palin expects them to address several in-state natural gas development bills and other matters introduced halfway through the 90-day session. Her office issued a press release stating she doesn't see a need to call a special session offering lawmakers more time to deal with the stimulus package, energy, tighter state budgets and more.

At the press conference, Sen. Gene Therriault, R-North Pole, supported what he said is responsible restraint on the governor's part.

Palin's administration said the details of what she does and doesn't plan to accept will be made available online once the bill is transmitted to the Legislature.

Her legislation will request $252.5 million for capital projects, including:

• $20.7 million for education and job training;

• 68.6 million for water and sewer projects;

• $3 million for the Alaska Vocational Training Center;

• $2.5 million for Fire Fuels and Forest Management;

• 39.6 million for public housing projects through the Alaska Housing Finance Corp.; and

• $116 million for the University of Alaska Fairbanks research vessel.



KUDDOS should go to her, by accepting any federal money, the State of Alaska accepts all rules and regulations and puts the State in further financial crisis, this is why so many states are broke and calling for bail out money. 

Posted by xstatic99645 at 9:06 AM YDT
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Thursday, 19 March 2009

Topic: I'm Tired
"I'm Tired" by Robert A. Hall 
I'll be 63 soon. Except for one semester in college, when jobs were scarce, nd a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I've worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven't called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get 
where I am. Given the economy, there's no retirement in sight, and I'm tired. Very tired. 
I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth around" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy or stupid to earn it. 
I'm tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to "keep people in their homes." Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I'm willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, 250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the leftwing Congress critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment 
Act that created the bubble help them-with their own money. 
I'm tired of being told how bad America is by left wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the religious freedom and women's rights of Saudi Arabia , the economy of Zimbabwe , the freedom of the press of China , the crime and violence of Mexico , the tolerance for Gay people of Iran , and the freedom of speech of Venezuela . Won't multiculturalism 
be beautiful? 
I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family"honor;" of Muslims rioting over some slight offense, of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers;" of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery;" of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little 
girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Shari 'a law tells the to. 
I believe "a man should be judged by the content of his character, not by the color of his skin." I'm tired of being told that "race doesn't matter"  In the post-racial world of President Obama, when it's all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts 
minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of US Senators from Illinois .. I think it's very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the emancipation proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less in an all-knowing government. 
I'm tired of a news media that thinks Bush's fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama's, at triple the cost, were wonderful. That thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress, that picked over every line of Bush's military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his, that slammed Palin with two years 
as governor for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever. Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News? Get a clue. I didn't vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004. 
I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America , while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love  and tolerance. 
I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore's, and if you're greener than Gore, you're green enough. 
I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don't think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think druggies chose to take drugs.. And I'm tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana. 
I'm tired of illegal aliens being called "undocumented workers," especially the ones who aren't working, but are living on welfare or crime. What's next? Calling drug dealers,"Undocumented Pharmacists"? And, no, I'm not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic and it's been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I'm willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person who can speak English, doesn't have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family 
on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military. Those are the citizens we need. 
I'm tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. 
Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes 
misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years-and still are? Not even close. 
So here's the deal. I'll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan , or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon , or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq , or 
the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia , because the girls were Christian.. Then we'll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear. 
I'm tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers-bums are bi-partisan. And I'm tired of people telling me we need bi-partisanship. I live in Illinois ,where the " Illinois Combine" of Democrats and Republicans has worked together harmoniously to loot the public for years. And I notice that the tax cheats in Obama's cabinet are bi-partisan as well. 
I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor. 
Speaking of poor, I'm tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn't have that in 1970, but we didn't know we were "poor." The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing. 
I'm real tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination, or big-whatever for their problems. 
Yes, I'm damn tired. But I'm also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I'm not going to get to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter. 
Robert A. Hall is a Marine and Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts state senate. 
He blogs at 

Posted by xstatic99645 at 10:38 AM YDT
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Thursday, 19 February 2009
The People's Department
Topic: USDA
On May 15, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing "at the seat of Government of the United States a Department of Agriculture." Two and one-half years later, in what was to be his last annual message to the Congress, Lincoln said: "The Agricultural Department, under the supervision of its present energetic and faithful head, is rapidly commending itself to the great and vital interest it was created to advance. It is precisely the people's Department, in which they feel more directly concerned that in any other. I commend it to the continued attention and fostering care of Congress."
Isn't this just charming, the very Department who states the USDA is the People's Department, It really should read the Lobbyists Department, Big Ag Department but certainly not the 'People's department" we the people  no longer exist.

Posted by xstatic99645 at 11:25 AM YST
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Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Topic: World Trade Agreements
You see this gives the USDA and the FDA the right to let in all this poisoned food and products we are now currently seeing and being recalled only after Complaints such as death or sickness  from the PUBLIC.
I can bet that congress has no idea what is in these agreements. They are signed by the Leaders of the Countries involved. As these agreements are from Organizations that we the people did not vote for.. Codex Alimentarius, International Office of Epizooties-OIE and International Plant Protection Convention_IPPC
These agreements are based on consensus by the parties
Aims to ensure that governments do not use quarantine and food safety requirements as
Unjustified trade barriers to protect domestic industries from import competition
It provides
Member countries with a right to implement traceability as an SPS measure

Posted by xstatic99645 at 6:11 PM YST
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Monday, 12 January 2009
Stop Funding the very Groups that will take your rights away on Animal Ownership
Topic: HSUS & PETA

Every woman ensconced in fur should endure a rape so vicious that it
Scars them forever." - Gary Yourofsky, "humane education lecturer"
Employed by PeTA, published Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008 in The Shield,
The student newspaper of Indiana Southern University. Yourofsky is a
Convicted felon that spent 6 months in a maximum security prison in Canada.


The Above statement should send shock waves to every single owner of a beloved pet.  If you are sending one nickle to these groups you are in fact agreeing to the above statement. Support your local dog groups instead, only the ones who are protecting your rights to pet ownership. So research the GROUP you will be investing in.


Posted by xstatic99645 at 2:51 PM YST
Updated: Tuesday, 13 January 2009 12:02 PM YST
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Oppose Federal ID Requirements
Topic: Real ID

Sponsored by Alaska Rep. John Coghill and co-Sponsors are Rep Kawaski, Rep Gruenberg, Rep Gardner, Rep Seaton, Rep Meyer, Rep Holmes, Rep Guttenberg, rep Doll, Rep Ramras  posted on:March 10, 2008 Bill version CHSJR 19 (STA); Status: 3rd Reading, 3/25 Calendar (H);2008-03-02 


Real ID is an attempt to protect our country from terrorism that is full of unintended consequences. First of all, this federal law is in direct conflict with the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Secondly, the federal government is holding individual Alaskans accountable for the actions of state government. Thirdly, the Real ID Act threatens personal liberties without any evidence of making our citizens and our borders any more protected from terrorism.

The State of Alaska is one of 45 states that obtained the first extension of implementation, but this is only a temporary reprieve from the problem. Without the repeal of the REAL ID Act or a further extension, federal agencies will not accept Alaskan driver's licenses or identification cards for official purposes as of December 31, 2009.

The Department of Administration recently estimated front end costs for interfacing the REAL ID database with DMV would cost at least $2 million. Additional funds would be required to interface with the Bureau of Vital Statistics and the Department of Public Safety. Annual operating costs would also have to be funded and the Administration has no estimate of that cost.

HJR 19 is a message to Congress that the Alaska Legislature objects to the federal government taking away states rights and individual rights as a method of imposing a system that will ultimately not make the United States any safer. The resolution asks Congress to repeal the Real ID Act of 2005.


Has anyone noticed that its OK to say this is against the Constitution for Real ID but if you say that with the National Animal Identification System you are labled as an opponent, a trouble maker, a miss informed uneducated farmer. 


How come our Representative will NOT issue a bill, pass a bill against the National Animal Identification System? Is it because they fear the hand that feeds them which is the Federal Government by stopping all forms of Federal money?


National Animal Identification system  is an attempt to protect our country from Foreign animal diseases that is full of unintended consequences. First of all, this federal law is in direct conflict with the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Secondly, the federal government is holding individual Alaskans accountable for the actions of the USDA and Trade agreements. Thirdly, the National Animal Identification system   threatens personal liberties without any evidence of making our citizens and our borders any more protected from Disease.

The State of Alaska is one of 50 states that obtained Federal Funding to implement the National Animal Identification system    via Cooperative Agreements which requires all livestock owners to register private property  with a USDA premises Identification. This number which can never be removed from the land unless it is paved over. First extension of implementation, but this is only a temporary reprieve from the problem. Without the repeal of the REAL ID Act or a further extension, federal agencies will not accept Alaskan driver's licenses or identification cards for official purposes as of December 31, 2009.

The Department of Administration recently estimated front end costs for interfacing the REAL ID database with DMV would cost at least $2 million. Additional funds would be required to interface with the Bureau of Vital Statistics and the Department of Public Safety. Annual operating costs would also have to be funded and the Administration has no estimate of that cost.

HJR 19 is a message to Congress that the Alaska Legislature objects to the federal government taking away states rights and individual rights as a method of imposing a system that will ultimately not make the United States any safer. The resolution asks Congress to repeal the Real ID Act of 2005.


Again if this message by the Alaska Legislature objects to the federal government taking away states rights and INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS how come they are NOT opposing the NAIS? The NAIS is about my individual rights, a method (NAIS) of imposing a system that will ultimatley not make the United States any safer. Remember foreign agreements are dictating to the USA via Trade agreements worth much more then a mere farmers pig or chicken or goat or even that one horse you may own.

Testing and Quarantine is considered a TRADE BARRIER..

COWARDS ....... 


Posted by xstatic99645 at 2:18 PM YST
Updated: Monday, 12 January 2009 2:36 PM YST
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Business Plan Guides NAIS
Topic: COOL

The National Animal Identification system is being LINKED with COOL.... Right from the Horses mouths.

Business plan guides NAIS

Wednesday, April 2, 2008 3:56 PM CDT


USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today released a draft Business Plan to further the implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

AMS encourages participants in voluntary marketing programs such as the USDA Process Verified, the Quality Systems Assessment and the Non-Hormone Treated Cattle Programs to meet the inherent animal identification requirements by using NAIS.

“The AMS Business Plan will allow for integration of the National Animal Identification System with AMS audit-based marketing programs,” said Bruce Knight, under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs.

“NAIS is a voluntary partnership among producers and government. This immediately provides the producer a twofold reward for a single investment. It ensures trace back of their animals for herd health reasons and provides benefits for marketing value-added animals domestically and internationally.”

Currently, all AMS partners that have approved marketing programs are actively encouraging the use of premise registration and NAIS compliant Animal Identification Numbers for these marketing program participants. Using NAIS, producers would at the same time meet the requirements for animal identification and traceability for these AMS marketing programs.

Further, use of NAIS along with enrollment in these voluntary AMS marketing programs ensures that cattle are eligible for the AMS Export Verification Program for Japan with an opportunity for significant premiums for cattle producers.


NAIS would single out product derived from these cattle so that it can be labeled properly when presented for sale at U.S. Grocery stores, for American consumers. This helps meet the objectives of the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) program by identifying the origin of cattle upon arrival at harvest facilities.

Contingent upon the publication of a Final Rule implementing COOL for meat and poultry products, AMS and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will coordinate efforts to develop a COOL “safe harbor” for NAIS participants: packers that rely upon NAIS to determine the origin of their livestock and poultry will subsequently be recognized by the Department as demonstrating compliance with the COOL program’s record keeping requirements.

Additional information about NAIS is available at and AMS voluntary marketing programs at

Posted by xstatic99645 at 1:31 PM YST
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Why Do We Fund UNESCO?

Posted by xstatic99645 at 1:24 PM YST
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Testing for animal disease
Topic: Animal Disease Testing
TB testing is as follows:  
1:TB Testing: Owner schedule herd testing with your local State Vet
2:The veterinarian will inject the cattle with tuberculin in the animal's caudal fold area, a fold of skin under the tail head,
3:After 72, the veterinarian will returns to 'READ" the test by manually examining the injection site for a reaction, such as thickening of the skin
4:Cattle that exhibit a response will have a USDA ear tag applied
5: State and federal rules restrict the movement of cattle from the farm and ranch until all testing is completed and the disease status of the herd is resolved. (there are provisions follow test-negative culls cows to be moved to a slaughter plant during this time)
6:The veterinarian, will report the test to the USDA regulatory veterinarian (state Vet) who will conduct a second test called a "comparative cervical" on the animal within 7 days.
7:Two antigens will be injected into the skin on the animals neck.
8:72 hours later the two injection sites will be examined and depending on the test response the animal may be classified as negative, suspect or reactor ....
Let it be known for diseases that are tested and the reactors are positive or negative they ARE AUTOMATICALLY reported to the STATE VET.
EIA-Coggins: State, university and private labs, all  NVSL-approved, are required to report the reactors (positive test results) within 24 hours to the State Veterinarian. Negative test results are also reported.
Reporting of animal health is thus complete... No need for NAIS
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy-BSE Testing-unless the Cow is classified as a downer or if it shows signs of central nervous disorder then testing will be issued.
Testing can only be completed on a dead cows not live.The US closed the border to Canadian cattle from over 30 months in 2003. Alberta Agriculture Minister Shirley McCellan said she did not know when the borders would reopen and called on the US government to resist closing it again if more cases of BSE are found. " We must assure countries cannot use an incident like this as a trade barrier, that decisions are really based on sound science." end quote
Testing of all cattle is a necessity due to the fact it appears to be an INTERNATIONAL PROBLEM.  This has to be the only statement I have ever seen that has ever made sense: As long as the production of humanity’s food is governed by the drive to maximize profit, preventable diseases like vCJD quickly escalate into public health disasters.  Testing should be completed at time of slaughter and the meat held until results are read. No more trade barriers would be issued, consumer confidence would gain and  no threat of a public health disaster.

Posted by xstatic99645 at 12:56 PM YST
Updated: Monday, 12 January 2009 1:01 PM YST
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Testing and Quarantine
Topic: World Trade Agreements
This paper is  dated Oct 2004 but will explain trade agreements and quarantine, lots of good information in it to which I'm sure is still pertinent, just a couple of notes to peak your interest...
Access to food that is nutritious and safe is a basic human necessity, but ensuring food
Safety has been made more difficult in recent years as a result of increasing international Trade. A greater quantity and variety of food is travelling further, often with multiple Origins and destinations. In order to preserve food safety and protect the agricultural
Industry from disease, Australia applies quarantine regulations that are more stringent Than in many other countries, but frequently these precautions are considered a barrier to trade that must be removed to further trade liberalisation. Introduction Page 9
International trade agreements can threaten food safety regulations in 2 ways, firstly during trade negotiations, changes to quarantine requirements may be sought in exchange for other market concessions. Secondly even if not officially on the negotiating table or part of a resulting agreement, under the WTO rules quarantine can be challenged by trading partners as unnecessarily restrictive if regulations exceed minimal international guidelines  Page 9
Australia is under increasing pressure to "Harmonize" quarantine regulations with international standards (WTO 2002 2003b) but if Australia had subscribed to similar standards as other countries in the past, it would not be free of Mad cow disease or avian flu. Page 9
The potential Impact of international trade agreements on public health in general and on food safety in particular has received very little attention. Page 10
Several agreements and principles now govern international trade between WTO Signatories. The agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), and principles of Equivalence (Box 1) are intended
To facilitate trade by removing non-tariff barriers and have considerable potential to Affect food safety as they govern import risk assessment and the application of Quarantine. Failure to comply with these agreements entitles an aggrieved trading
Partner to initiate dispute settlement proceedings
(see Section 2.3).  Page 12
Bilateral, regional and global agreements
In general, members of the WTO may not discriminate either between trading partners Or between locally made and imported products that are similar (Lawrence 2003). Furthermore, the ‘most favoured nation’ rule means that whenever a WTO member Country upgrades the benefits it provides to a trading partner, it must grant all other WTO members the same privileges so that they remain equal. Page 12
Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS Measures) Negotiations during the Uruguay Round Tables in 1994 agreed to reduce agricultural tariffs in order to bring rules for agricultural goods in line with those for manufactured goods (Beierlie 2002). This led to a concern that some countries might evoke quarantine regulations not to protect public health and keep industry free from exotic pests and disease but rather rather to protect the economic interests of their agricultural industries (Nairn 1996). The SPS agreement was therefore developed to limit the restrictions that countries could place on foods in the name of health and safety. Although in theory countries can set levels of protection that they deem appropriate, these must be  ( Scientifically justifiable" and not merely a means to restrict international trade.  SPS measures are subjectively defined, but there purpose is to prevent food-borne risks or pests and diseases affecting the life and health of humans, animals and plants in a manner that impacts on international trade (Pauwelyn 1999). Before the SPS agreement, agricultural and health regulations has to be justified only after a violation of GATT was discovered (Pauwelyn 1999). Agriculture remains highly protected despite SPS rules and efforts to reduce tariffs (Beierlie 2002)  Page 13
Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement
The technical aspects of goods such as size, labelling, shape, performance and Packaging are covered by the TBT Agreement (OECD 2003) which lists circumstances Where countries may restrict trade although again these restrictions must be considered
Necessary and not more restrictive than required to meet objectives. Human, animal And plant health, environmental protection, national security and prevention of Deception are considered legitimate reasons to restrict trade under TBT (WTO 2003c).
The Agreement appears to provide for some freedom for countries to take steps to Protect public health, but such measures are subject to international approval, ensuring That health objectives and restrictions are limited to those deemed by trading partners To be appropriate. Page 13
Equivalence polices are intended to reduce replication of procedures between countries; but in practice they limit a country's sovereignty over national public health decision-making because the failure to accept another country's procedure as equivalent may be perceived as an unnecessarily restrictive trade practice.Page 13 
Page 17 Science based risk assessment is described. This is what Mike Johanns all ways talked about. Science based..
The role of quarantine in trade agreements
Science-based risk assessment
In April 2003, the EC brought a complaint against Australia to the WTP, arguing that Unless individual exemptions are granted, Australia’s quarantine requirements Prohibiting the import of live and dead animals, fresh meat, plants, fruit and vegetables Are unduly restrictive to trade. The EC also objected to Australia’s refusal to accept the Equivalence measures of other countries as unfair (WTO 2003b). Any WTO member Country may elect to be involved in a given dispute brought about by another member; For the current EC dispute, India and the Philippines have declared themselves to be Interested parties.

‘Science’ is invoked in trade law to distinguish legitimate concerns from actions that are Taken for protectionist reasons (Harlow 2004). The SPS Agreement enables a country to Maintain its standards providing they are scientifically based and consistently
(Nairn 1996). WTO members are allowed, in principle, to set their own Acceptable level of risk, and can choose SPS measures to reduce risk to a degree Considered acceptable in import risk assessment. The SPS measures invoked are not
Permitted to be more trade restrictive than is necessary to meet the required level of risk. However, there is little recognition that potential risk is assessed within a particular Context and is subject to constraints (Harlow 2004). ‘Science’ therefore remains full of Uncertainty. The WTO requires that uncertainty be dealt with consistently by member Countries (Crawford-Brown et al. 2004). Differences of opinion as to the meaning of ‘science-based’ should be restricted to the approaches used for risk assessment. There is some disagreement concerning whether or not risk assessment should be ‘consistent With internationally accepted approaches’ (Codex Alimentarius Commission 1995b, p.
It is widely accepted that quarantine should be science-based, but what this means in Practice is in dispute. For example, both sides of the Australia-US FTA negotiations Were in public agreement that quarantine regulations must be based on science (Deady
And Ives 2003). During the negotiations Australia continued to reiterate its support for The SPS Agreement. With the signing of the Australia-US FTA that included changes to Quarantine, DFAT was quick to recommit to science-based risk assessment.
Both countries have reaffirmed that decisions on matters affecting Quarantine and food safety will be based on science. The agreement
Preserves the rights of both countries to protect animal, plant and Human health and life in their respective territories. Australia’s Regulatory systems, risk assessment and policy development processes Are not affected, and the AUSFTA does not compromise Australia’s Quarantine regime (DFAT 2004b).4
Science is by nature intended to Be objective, but making risk assessments and deciding what constitutes an acceptable Level of risk to public health requires some level of value-judgement. The stakes are Perhaps higher for Australia as an island continent that is relatively disease-free. Howse (2004) suggests that the WTO overestimates the ability of existing science to resolve Health-related trade disputes. In order to continue to be relatively disease free, Australia Requires that a cautious approach be maintained.
This statement is then true.  Quarantine can not be used as it isnt a Science based risk assessment
Aims to ensure that governments do not use quarantine and food safety requirements as Unjustified trade barriers to protect domestic industries from import competition. It provides Member countries with a right to implement traceability as an SPS measure
Import risk assessment can take Years, and there is growing pressure to reduce the time to gain import clearance to a
Maximum of six months (Brenchley 2003). New import risk assessments are subject to A review by an expert panel after input from stakeholders (DAFF 2004a) and are then Enforced by the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS). The regulatory body
For food quality and safety in Australia is Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).
The 1996 Nairn report Australian Quarantine urged government and industry to work Together to develop good quarantine practices. Australia’s subsequent ‘strong and active’ participation in the Uruguay negotiations for an SPS agreement was commended
By the WTO at the time (WTO 1998) but, because Australia maintains more stringent Quarantine standards than other countries, its position has since been perceived by Trading partners as hypocritical (European Commission’s Delegation 2003), and Protectionist. No matter how effective this cautious approach has been in the past, it is Not considered appropriate in the current international trade arena. There is a perceived Conflict between a country’s right to set an appropriate level of protection (which may Be conservative as in the case of Australia) and the belief in free trade.
Member countries are, however, allowed under Article 3 of the SPS Agreement to set Higher standards of protection than those internationally recognised, as long as they are Scientifically justified or considered to provide an appropriate level of risk for the
Importing country (Biosecurity Australia 2003)
. Taking a cautious approach is not, However, considered to be scientifically justifiable. Although international food safety Standards are not intended as a ‘ceiling’ on national standards, any national standards
Deemed to exceed them must justify their more rigorous criteria on ‘scientific’ grounds (Nairn 1996). The standards set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission have already Been invoked as the benchmark in international trade disputes and are expected to be
Used increasingly as such (FAO and WHO 1999). While international standards are not Supposed to prevent governments from protecting public health, welfare and Environment (Marceau and Trachtman 2002), nevertheless countries with more Stringent requirements, such as Australia, are expected to lower their food and Agricultural standards to match those of other countries, or leave themselves vulnerable To retaliatory measures from the dispute settlement process.
Australia’s cautious approach to the risk assessment of imported goods is considered by Some other countries to be inappropriate. With the expansion of international trade, Pressures on strict quarantine regulations are increased. A US report on barriers to trade
(that is, impediments to US exports) accuses Australia of applying quarantine Regulations unscientifically to protect national markets by restricting trade.
A good example:
In a dispute over the importation of uncooked salmon because of fears that it carries Sea-lice, Australia had requested more time to conduct a risk assessment than was Considered by the WTO Panel to be reasonable (Pauwelyn 1999). Although not a threat To human health, sea-lice can kill salmon and entry into the country poses a direct and Serious threat to the lice-free status of the Australian industry (Green 2003). In 1999

Australia was ordered to open its market and accept imports of fresh, chilled and frozen Salmon (USTR 2000). In response, Tasmania enacted its own quarantine legislation to Defend its lice-free salmon industry. Tasmania’s action was challenged by Canada, and Again the WTO ruled that the ban was unjustified, as Tasmania had failed to evaluate The likelihood of entry, establishment and spread of sea-lice (Pauwelyn 1999). The Import restrictions were deemed not to have been based on science in the absence of a Quantitative risk assessment (Pauwelyn 1999), and measures were not considered to be Consistently applied as other types of fish were being imported (Atik 2004).5
The hazard inherent in the WTO ruling became apparent in September 2003 when sea Lice were found under the skin of salmon imported into Australia from Norway (Green 2003). This example illustrates that pressure from trading partners and the system of
Dispute settlement under the WTO forced Australia to compromise its quarantine Regulations, and the result was a real threat to an Australian industry.
This is a very telling statement
Prime Minister John Howard said the government has no option but to Follow the recommendation of the regulator [the WTO], otherwise it Would be seen as protectionist (AFX News 2004).
The transmission of pathogens from animals to humans constitutes perhaps the most Serious threat to public health. Newly acquired animal viruses often prove especially Harmful to humans, and part of the danger can lie in their invisibility and the potential
Delay between infection and the onset of symptoms. While outbreaks of avian flu tend To be sudden and therefore alarming, they also tend to be obvious and relatively readily Contained. The impact of some other pathogens may not be immediately obvious. BSE,
For example, is particularly insidious, taking several years for infection to become Apparent in both cattle and, as vCJD in people. Young cattle not exhibiting any signs of Disease can still transmit the disease. Containing such a disease, with possibly decades-
Long lead time, is especially difficult. The precise source of a human case can be Impossible to trace.
Article 4 of the Code of Ethics for International Trade in Food clearly states the Conditions under which food may be traded: no food in trade should have ‘in or upon it Any substance in an amount which renders it poisonous, harmful or otherwise injurious To health’ (Codex Alimentarius Commission 1985, p. 2). Determining what constitutes a Dangerous amount of a particular substance is a matter of controversy. Furthermore, Food must not be ‘sold, prepared, packaged, stored or transported for sale under Unsanitary conditions’ (Codex Alimentarius Commission 1985, p. 2). Although these Principles appear explicit, their application is open to interpretation and has been the
Subject of sometimes fierce debate between trading partners. Different panels of experts Have frequently reached different conclusions as to the perceived level of risk. This Occurred in June 2003, for example, with the halving of international recommendations
For maximum exposure to methylmercury (a common contaminant of some fish and Seafood) (JECFA 2003), with Australia taking a further nine months to change its own Recommendations (FSANZ 2001e). Furthermore, some people may have a lower
Threshold of tolerance to some substances and may be more susceptible to the effects. One ‘national diet’ may also vary substantially from another, creating vastly different Patterns of exposure. Some substances may cause long-term damage even at very low
Levels of exposure, and the delay between exposure and the onset of symptoms may Render determining the cause difficult. For example, some chemicals used as pesticides May mimic hormones (Sohoni and Sumpter 1998), and the same chemical may produce
Extremely diverse outcomes from carcinogenic effects to reduced fertility (Rhind 2002; Binelli and Provini 2003).
The WTO does not require the setting or use of international standards (Harlow 2004), But this is increasingly becoming the practice. The Codex recommendations should be Treated as a minimum rather than a maximum standard in food safety.
Animal protein used in feed is an excellent growth promoter, but feeding meat to
Herbivores can be a dangerous practice. The BSE epidemic in Britain commenced in the
1980s with the feeding to cattle of ruminant meat and bone meal containing material
From sheep infected with scrapie, a disease which is similar to BSE and that renders the
Sheep unfit for human consumption. Although initially centred in Britain, a lack of
Caution in international trade ensured that BSE risk has become geographically
Widespread. The feeding of ruminant meat and bone meal to cattle is now banned in the
UK and in most – but not all – of Europe (FSANZ 2002c). The degenerative disease
VCJD occurred in people as a result of BSE-infected beef products entering the food
Chain. Human-to-human transmission can also take place, for example, through donated
Blood products and surgical instruments.
Australia remains BSE-free due to its high standard of agricultural practice and use of
The precautionary principle in import risk assessment and strict quarantine regulations.
Since 1966 it has not imported any stock feed originating from animals except from
New Zealand (Animal Health Australia 2000
). However, until the appearance of vCJD
In Britain and elsewhere, this ban would have been vulnerable to being ruled a
Restrictive trade practice had it been challenged under the WTO, because the risk to
Health was theoretical rather than specifiable at the outset. Similar bans on imports from
Some countries are still vulnerable under the WTO system of dispute settlement,
Wherever Australia’s regulations are more stringent than those of other countries. The
BSE/vCJD case serves as a warning; a practice that is internationally accepted can still
Be dangerous.
Would this be a reason why BSE is not fully tested in the USA because the USDA is going by what Codex wrote and that they determined the risk assessment to be low?
Codex also recommends that inspection should be cost-effective and based on risk
Allocation according to the production history and disease status of a region
Alimentarius Commission 1993a).
If the risk for a particular disease or defect is low,
Then testing for it may not be cost-effective. The importance of safeguarding industry is
Thus highlighted by Codex; judgements should not impose unnecessary costs on
Industry (Codex Alimentarius Commission 1993a).  

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