FOOD AND AGRICULTURE 4
U.S.is prepared to deal with acts of terrorism against environmental andagriculture in the short, medium and long term. In the short andmedium term, the government has several policy recommendations. Oneof the policy recommendations entails putting more investment in thephysical, human, and logistical infrastructure. Resources need to beput in FAD diagnostician training, integrated electroniccommunication systems amid emergency management staff and fieldresponse personnel, regular preparedness and response exercises andprograms, and appropriate diagnostic facilities with the ability ofsupporting high level research in the area of virulent foreign andexotic animal diseases. Another policy entails reforming the entireveterinary science curriculum, especially the large-scale animalhusbandry and exotic/foreign disease recognnittioon and treattmeent.More attention also needs to be provided on how too engageaccredited state/local veterinerians in the USDA’s entire emergencymanagement system (Chalk, 2001).
Besides,the government can prepare through having better coordinated and morestandardized links amid the US agricultural, criminal justice andintelligence commmunnittiees, especially in the epidemiologicalinvestigations. Developing a viable national agricultural insurancescheme that can be used in compensating farmers in case of a majoragricultural disaster also coonsstittuttes another way of preparing in the short ad meddiuum term. In addition, the government canprepare through instituting more effective bio-security, surveillanceand emergency response at food processors and packing plants,especially those that exist at the smaller end of the scale (Chalk,2001). Some of the immediate measures that can be initiated includeincreased background checks on seasonal employees, more effectivesite security, and developing clearly documented, well-rehearsedproduct recall plans. On the other hand, in the long term, concretemoves need to be encouraged in standardizing and rationalizing foodand agricultural safety within the confines of one Federal agencythat has both programmatic and budgetary powers over a broad spectrumof functional domains and jurisdictions (Chalk, 2001).
Theenvironmental target, which is most susceptible to terrorist attackentails food processors lacking adequate security and safetypreparedness measures. Most facilities are characterized by havinglax internal quality control indeed, only a small percentage of theproduce originating from the plants becomes subjected to end of linetesting and screening. This implies that there is minimalbio-security and surveillance, insufficient product recall proceduresand highly transcient, unscreened workforces. All these sitesrepresent high points for the deliberate introduction of toxins andbacteria. Besides, since most processed food becomes disseminated toa broader catchment area in a relatively short time, a singlecontamination case can have significant health results beyond theimmediate source of introduction (Chalk, 2001).
Inorder to ensure that the vulnerabilities are mitigated, thegovernment should ensure that there is sufficient security and safetypreparedness measures. One of the ways of ensuring such security isthrough having competent internal controls that ensure that allfacilities are safe and secure from the introduction of toxins andbacteria. There should be suffient survelance of all facilities inorder to curb the introduction of toxins in the production lines. Onthe other hand, employees should be highly screened, when enteringthe production lines. This will ensure that there is a very minimalchance of employees introducing toxins and bacteria in the productionlines. In addition, there should be suffient testing of produce aftertesting before being distributed to ther areas in order to ensurethat they are free of any toxins.
Chalk,P. (2001, October 10th).Terrorism,Infrastructure Protection, and the U.S. Food and agricultural Sector.Washtong: RAND.