Federal and state agencies join forces to boost food supply security
"This agreement greatly strengthens the essential food safety network of federal, state and municipal governments," said Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Lester Crawford. "Establishment of clear and consistent practices for combating threats to the food supply is a necessary prerequisite to the public health imperative of providing secure, safe and nutritious food for all Americans."
The cooperative agreement will occur in three phases, with the first phase starting immediately and phase three concluding by June 2005. During the first phase, a workgroup comprised of federal, state and local officials will gather information about existing state emergency response systems and how food/agricultural safety and security emergencies will be handled within the various states. In phase two, the workgroup will develop an interagency response plan, conduct tabletop exercises and pilots to test functionality of the emergency response plan and refine it based on lessons-learned and other input.
Additional information about food security is available on the FSIS Web page at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Food_Security_&_Emergency_Preparedness/index.asp and FDA’s Web page at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/fsterr.html.