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BIOTERRORISM Food Safety & Security Following the terrorist attacks of September 11 th & the subsequent anthrax attacks in the United States.

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Presentation on theme: "BIOTERRORISM Food Safety & Security Following the terrorist attacks of September 11 th & the subsequent anthrax attacks in the United States."— Presentation transcript:

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2 BIOTERRORISM Food Safety & Security

3 Following the terrorist attacks of September 11 th & the subsequent anthrax attacks in the United States

4 There was a call for new government powers to address potential threats Biological & Chemical weapons: Bioterrorism

5 Food was/is concerned as a potential vector for terrorist attack

6 Food Security Redefined In FAO parlance food security refers to the capability of populations to feed themselves Post-September 11, food security refers to a food supply protected from intentional adulteration or contamination

7 Is Food a Possible Vector? The government asked the industry The industry asked the government How? –Where is the food supply vulnerable? What? –What agents could be successfully introduced into food? Goal? –Would the objective be death, illness, or economic disruption?

8 We don’t have answers yet Biological weapons in the traditional sense (anthrax, for example) receiving less focus Traditional food safety issues such as salmonella, E.coli, or Listeria as intential tools of terrorism receiving more focus

9 When you can’t identify the problem but need a solution Go to the closet of old ideas Use the new context to bring them back to life “Throw them against the wall and see what sticks”

10 The Bioterrorism Bill The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.3448 on December 11, 2001 The U.S. Senate passed S.1715 on December 20, 2001

11 Both Bills are very similar Differences are currently being negotiated, expect them to be finally passed by Congress and signed into law this month

12 Food Dramatically expanded authorities for the Food and Drug Administration Secretary of Health and Human Services has repeatedly stated that imported food presents the most serious bioterrorism threat –It is unclear what, if any, empirical evidence supports this claim

13 Nonetheless, the focus of FDA’s new powers is on food imports

14 Emergency Detention Authority FDA can detain food for up to 30 days that it believes presents a threat of serious adverse health conditions or death FDA must develop expedited procedures for perishable food items

15 Debarment FDA can debar individuals from importing food for up to 5 years if such individuals: –House: repeatedly import adulterated food –Senate: engage in a pattern of importing adulterated food

16 Records Access FDA has dramatically expanded access to confidential and proprietary records of companies

17 Registration All food handlers must register with the FDA Restaurants, Farms, and Fishing Vessels are exempt Registration is NOT and authorization Foreign facilities must register via U.S. agent

18 Prior Notice Importers must provide prior notice to the FDA of an imported food shipment –House: hours in advance –Senate: at least 4 hours in advance

19 Refused Entry Marking Products that present a serious threat of adverse health consequences or death and are therefore denied entry into the United States will be labeled as: “REFUSED ENTRY: UNITED STATES” –Container level vs. Packaging level

20 Time Frame Will become law this month Provisions will enter into force via FDA regulations over the course of 2002, earlt 2003 FDA regulations will clarify (for better or for worse) the details


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