Improve the safety and security of agriculture

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Reference no: EM13222644

1. Protecting the American food supply from terrorist attacks or natural contamination is a difficult task. The FDA and USDA have the primary responsibilities. These two organizations have made significant changes since 9/11 to protect the food chain, but we still have major incidents such as: spinach contamination, restricted additives in pet food, massive recalls of possibly contaminated meat, problems with tomatoes, the peanut products incident, the raw cookie dough recall, cantaloupe contamination, and others.

The division of authorities and responsibilities between these two organizations appears to the casual reviewer both to overlap and to lack clarity of definition. In some cases of food related incidents, there are other government agencies of organizations involved.The result is confusion and delayed response. If another major incident happened, the public will demand change.If you were a senior government official and wanted to be proactive, what change would you propose (primarily to USDA/FDA) to improve the situation? Of course, your first consideration is to decide if there really is a problem. To be credible, whatever you do (or don't do), you should provide specifics (logic or research) to substantiate your response.

2. The Japanese earthquake and tsunami several years ago on May 11, 2011 was a major disaster that highlighted the challenges of cascading problems in the critical infrastructure, i.e. a failure in one sector affects the other sectors. What were the important lessons learned about the interdependencies of the various critical infrastructures, e.g., Agriculture and Food, Chemical, Dams, Energy, Transportation Systems, and Water? What should the US First Responders do to prepare for a similar situation in the US? 

3. The country needs new technology to protect our Critical Infrastructure/Key Resources from terrorist attacks or from natural incidents.  The DHS Science and Technology released a version of "High-Priority Technology Needs (May 2009)."  Given the discussions in this course about leveraging technology research and development, what would be your top five priorities to improve the safety and security of agriculture from the farm to the table for inclusion in the next version of this report or in an overall strategic plan? Provide specifics and the rationale for your choices.

4. Suppose that you were a terrorist who had managed to access all the material for this seminar -- class lessons, Conference discussions, research papers, and exams. Given the topics covered, what five CI/KR vulnerabilities/weaknesses would you put on your priority list for possible exploitation? Provide the rationale and an explanation for your choices. Don't hesitate to include some details and references to support your choices.

Reference no: EM13222644

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