Submitted By Chad Smith, NAFB News Service.
The U.S. Senate passed legislation designed to address the potential threat of agro-terrorism and keep the American food supply safe. Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts co-sponsored the legislation in the Senate and says an attack on the nation’s food supply would cause irreparable damage. “This legislation reaffirms the important role for the Department of Homeland Security in preventing agro-terrorism,” Roberts said. “Agriculture is the backbone of our economy, and the spread of any deadly pathogen among our livestock and plant populations would be deadly,” House Republican Dan Donovan introduced similar legislation in the House, saying “This bill is essential to enhancing our preparedness against possible agro-terrorism and our emergency response measures. The Securing our Agriculture and Food Act requires the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), through the Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs, to lead the government’s efforts to secure our nation’s food, agriculture, and veterinary systems against terrorism and high-risk events. The bill also authorizes the Secretary to collaborate with other agencies to ensure food, agriculture, and animal and human health sectors receive attention and are integrated into the DHS’s domestic preparedness policy initiatives. After House consideration, the bill would head to the president’s desk for his signature.