Feds Set Up Online Help for Farmers

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) — Two U.S. federal agencies say they have created software designed to offer farmers online help in assessing food production security methods.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service say the risk assessment tool called Agriculture CARVER + Shock is designed to help the food industry at the farm level implement food production security methods.

The FDA said the software was originally developed by the U.S. military to identify areas that might be vulnerable to attack. The FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture adapted the model to the food and agriculture sector to evaluate potential vulnerabilities in the supply chains of different foods and food processes, primarily for harvest and pre-harvest food production operations.

“This assessment tool helps the producer understand how an attacker might think,” said Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Producers can easily identify weak spots in their operation and receive practical advice on countermeasures they can put in place.”

Cindy Smith, APHIS administrator, added: “Being prepared is a tremendous asset. Farmers can now see firsthand what they can do to protect themselves and U.S. agriculture.”

The software is available, along with more information, at http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodDefense/CARVER.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Food Industry, Military
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