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Food Anti-Terror Efforts Lacking, Report Says

Photo: Maria Brzostowska

Efforts to protect the nation’s food supply from terrorism have no centralized coordination, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

In an 81-page report released Tuesday, GAO said no single agency is in charge of overseeing the federal government’s progress in implementing food and agriculture defense policies.

The Agriculture Department‘s efforts are bogged down by research gaps and a lack of a department-wide strategy for setting priorities and allocating resources, GAO said.

According to an AP analysis, the federal government has spent at least $3.4 billion on food counterterrorism in the last decade. However, key programs have been bogged down in a huge, multi-headed bureaucracy.

A Senate subcommittee will hold a hearing Tuesday to examine the GAO’s report and will hear testimony from officials in the departments of Agriculture and Homeland Security, and the Food and Drug Administration.

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