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Food Protection Message - September 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

And that’s a wrap! According to your feedback, the Food Defense Conference was a smashing success. The forum allowed us to highlight challenges we face in protecting our food supply and discuss solutions to mitigating threats. The General Sessions launched key conversations on cyber security, vulnerability assessment, and addressing fractures in our critical infrastructure. Our breakout sessions were often overflowing with great debate on how to defend our food system. Many of you shared your appreciation for the breadth of topics and perspectives from other disciplines. I was thrilled to see networking happening at receptions, in hallways, and over lunch.   A bevy of collaborations and partnerships were formed to advance current research projects and initiate new work. 

Webinar - Food and Agriculture Sector Cargo Theft: A Growing National Problem - October 10, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

A dramatic shift has occurred in the profile of cargo thefts. For the first time in the U.S., the top commodity stolen during the first quarter of 2014 was food! Because food can be resold quickly for around 70 cents on the dollar, it has become a rapid path to substantial cash for criminal elements to include terrorist supporting groups seeking to fund terrorist activities. These activities present substantial brand theft to the original producers of the product, the potential risks to consumers, particularly those most likely to purchase low cost foods. The practice is adding to the already burdensome work load of public health and law enforcement investigators, the growing cost of the thefts to industry is raising the price of food for everyone and, perhaps even more disturbing, is that the success of recent criminal acts is begetting new players in organized crime and, very likely, interest on the part of new players in radical organizations.