Food Defense Conference coming to Atlanta

In order to enhance research agendas related to food protection and defense and to report important discoveries in these critical areas, the Institute of Food Technologists — in conjunction with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense — is convening a national research conference in Atlanta, November 3-4.

To involve professionals with a great stake in the security of the nation’s food supply, the IFT Food Protection and Defense Research Conference will feature sessions directed by leaders with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, the National Center for Zoonotic and Foreign Animal Disease Defense, the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security, and elsewhere.

Conference sessions will include:
  • Detection and diagnostics
  • Public health and response coordination
  • Modeling and risk assessment
  • Economic analysis of events and response
  • Decontamination, and more.
The basis of this conference was forged earlier this year at the IFT Food Defense Research Summit in Chicago. At that April summit, conference co-chairman Douglas L. Archer, IFT food defense expert and former U.S. assistant surgeon general said, “Food security was not invented as a result of September 11. But it gained necessary attention; just not enough.”

The U.S food supply system is extremely complex, making it difficult to defend. More than 200,000 companies — here and abroad — contribute to the nation's food supply. More than 900,000 restaurants employ 12 million employees. Approximately 100 million cattle are raised in 49 states.

Business directly associated with food accounts for 13 percent of the U.S. gross national product and 18 percent of the U.S. employment base. Agricultural activities account for more than $1 trillion annually, and more than $50 billion in exports.

For more on this IFT National Center for Food Protection and Defense research conference, see www.ift.org/fooddefense.

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