St. Paul, Minn. (January 31, 2007) -- The world's economy and the well-being of its citizens depend on the security and sustainability of agriculture. Livestock, often raised among dense populations in unsecured facilities, and crops, often grown in remote areas, are vulnerable to pathogens that are introduced naturally or intentionally. Effective measures to protect crops and livestock against natural or weaponized pathogens, and to respond to such pathogens, are needed to ensure economic and food security, as well as human health.
A panel of experts will discuss the status of current domestic and international agricultural biosecurity measures and needs for their enhancement at the "Agricultural Biosecurity: Toward a Secure Global Economy and Public Health" symposium to be held during the 2007 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA. The symposium, co-organized by Kavita Marfatia Berger, AAAS Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy, and Jacqueline Fletcher, Oklahoma State University and The American Phytopathological Society, will be held Sunday, February 18, 2007 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. (PST) in Imperial Ballroom B of the Hilton San Francisco. Symposium speakers include:
Intentional contamination of the food supply poses a real and potentially catastrophic threat to society. It has the potential to cause direct morbidity and/or mortality, disruption of food distribution, loss of consumer confidence in the food supply, business failures, trade restrictions, and ripple effects on the economy. The food/agriculture sectors infrastructure must be strengthened to lessen potential harm resulting from deliberate contamination. Busta will present initiatives to minimize or eliminate vulnerabilities, and practical soluti