Terrorist Threats to Agriculture
Nov 19, 2003
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The committee held a hearing on “Agroterrorism: The Threat to America’s Breadbasket” to examine the vulnerability of America’s agriculture and food industry to terrorist attacks, what the nation must do .. Read More
The committee held a hearing on “Agroterrorism: The Threat to America’s Breadbasket” to examine the vulnerability of America’s agriculture and food industry to terrorist attacks, what the nation must do to defend against “agroterrorism,” and how prepared we are to respond to such an attack. Agriculture is a large industry with many points of vulnerability which is a vital part of the American economy, which is a high-priority terrorist target. During the opening statements, Senator Talent spoke to the committee as the chairman of the Agriculture Sub-Committee for Marketing, Inspection and Promotion to urge cooperation.
Dr. McGinn focused on the speed with which an outbreak could occur. He urged measures such as the development of a national, highly integrated, automated disease detection and surveillance capability. Dr. Chalk introduced a report released that day by the RAND Corporation outlining vulnerabilities in the food production system and giving specific recommendations for a more aggressive and coordinated defense against a terrorist attack. Dr. O’Keefe focused on the introduction of foreign animal diseases and emergency preparedness at a state level.
Dr. Albright focused on the differences between naturally occurring infections and those deliberately introduced. Among other topics he discussed the operations of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and initiatives being taken to increase national security. Dr. Crawford described the FDA’s ten-poiont plan for ensuring the safety of the nation’s food supply.Dr. Lambert focused on describing the work of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) that are the front line of defense.