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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2006 > November
Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 3, 2006


APEC Food Defense Initiative

Member economies of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum met November 1-3 in Bangkok, Thailand for the first-ever APEC Food Defense Workshop. This workshop was the first step in the "Mitigating the Terrorist Threat to the APEC Food Supply" initiative that was endorsed by APEC Senior Officials in May 2006.

The Workshop brought together policy makers, technical experts, and private sector stakeholders from across the region to begin a regional dialogue on protecting the food supply from deliberate contamination. The U.S. was pleased to co-sponsor this APEC Food Defense initiative along with Australia and Chile, and to have partnered with Thailand as the co-host for the Workshop.

The results of the workshop will be reported to APEC leaders at the upcoming APEC meeting in Hanoi, November 17-19.

Since much of the world's agriculture trade involves APEC economies, and given the implications to health and economic security to individual economies and to the region, it is important that APEC tackle this important challenge. Unfortunately, this potential threat is not a new one; several APEC economies, such as China, Japan, and the U.S., have suffered incidences of deliberate contamination in the past. The Workshop shared information among APEC economies and initiated a regional dialogue that strengthens APECís ability to protect the food supply.

This initiative is intended to strengthen protection of the food supply from deliberate terrorist contamination through the use of different vulnerability assessment tools within the food supply and distribution system and by identifying potential countermeasures to threats. A key assessment tool used in the United States, for example, subdivides the food supply and distribution system into small, discrete units (or nodes) in the "farm to table" continuum, determines if there are vulnerabilities in each node, and identifies the "critical nodes" or points along the production system which are most susceptible to deliberate contamination.

2006/997

Released on November 3, 2006

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