BIOTERRORISM

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					BIOTERRORISM

Food Safety & Security
Following the terrorist attacks of
        September 11th
   & the subsequent anthrax attacks in
            the United States
  There was a call for new
government powers to address
      potential threats
  Biological & Chemical weapons:
            Bioterrorism
Food was/is concerned as a
potential vector for terrorist
           attack
      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
     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?
    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
   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”
   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
Both Bills are very similar

  Differences are currently being
negotiated, expect them to be finally
passed by Congress and signed into
           law this month
                      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
Nonetheless, the focus of FDA’s
new powers is on food imports
 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
                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
           Records Access
• FDA has dramatically expanded access to
  confidential and proprietary records of
  companies
              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
                Prior Notice
• Importers must provide prior notice to the
  FDA of an imported food shipment
  – House: 24-72 hours in advance
  – Senate: at least 4 hours in advance
      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
               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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