FDA, DHS AND FBI JOIN STATES AND PRIVATE INDUSTRY
TO PROTECT NATION'S FOOD AND AGRICULTURE SUPPLY
Release from the United States Department of Agriculture
WASHINGTON, July 26, 2005 - The U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Health and
Human Services' Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) today announced a
new collaboration with states and private industry
to protect the nation's food supply from terrorist
"Ensuring the safety
of our nation's food supply is a top priority for
President Bush and USDA," said Agriculture
Secretary Mike Johanns. "This partnership demonstrates
our commitment as government and the private sector
work together to protect our agricultural commodities
from terrorism. We look forward to working with
The Strategic Partnership
Program Agroterrorism (SPPA) Initiative supports
President Bush's requirements directing the government
to work closely with states and industry to secure
the nation's food supply. Announced today at the
Food and Agriculture Sector Coordinating Council
meeting, four pilot visits will be conducted in
September and October. The purpose of these visits
is to assess and identify vulnerabilities in the
agriculture and food sectors.
"As one of the lead
federal agencies charged with protecting our nation's
food supply, the FDA fully supports this initiative
encouraging a closer working relationship with our
partners in federal and state government, as well
as the private sector to make the nation's food
even safer," said FDA Commissioner Dr. Lester
Crawford. "This partnership brings together
all of the organizations that have the best knowledge
and abilities in safeguarding the food we eat starting
from the farm all the way to our kitchen tables."
Over the next year, teams
of federal and state officials will travel to all
50 states to meet with all sectors of the food chain.
Together, the federal, state and private industry
partners will discuss security issues from farm-to-table
and consider ways to better protect our food supply.
"We are pleased to participate
in this important initiative to enhance the overall
security of our nation's food and agricultural infrastructure,"
said Robert Stephan, Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure
Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
"The health of our citizens and our economy
depend on our ability to conduct assessments, validate
field information and provide guidance that can
be shared with our federal, state and local, tribal
as well as private sector partners."
These visits will help the
federal partners better consider how states and
industry can protect the food supply, gain more
information about the food industry's protection
needs and assist government and private industry
in refining its efforts including research and development
This effort is the second
major joint initiative for the federal partners.
In May 2005, FBI, with the support of DHS, USDA
and FDA hosted the first ever International Symposium
for Agrosecurity in Kansas City, Mo.
information about agrosecurity can be found on USDA's
Web site at http://www.usda.gov/homelandsecurity;