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Federal agencies (such as Customs and Border Protection and the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service) oversee inspections at U.S. ports of entry to protect U.S. agriculture from pests and diseases.
This e-supplement is a companion to our report on the Agriculture Quarantine Inspection (AQI) program, Homeland Security: Agriculture Inspection Program Has Made Some Improvements but Management Challenges Persist (GAO-12-885).
This testimony examines issues related to food and agriculture emergencies. Agriculture is critical to public health and the nation's economy. It annually produces $300 billion worth of food and other farm products and is estimated to be responsible for 1 out of every 12 U.S. jobs.
U.S. agriculture generates over $1 trillion in economic activity annually, but concerns exist about its vulnerability to foreign pests and diseases. Under the agricultural quarantine inspection (AQI) program, passengers and cargo are inspected at U.S.
The livestock industry, which contributes over $100 billion annually to the national economy, is vulnerable to foreign animal diseases that, if introduced in the United States, could cause severe economic losses.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the preparedness of the federal food safety regulatory agencies to respond to acts or threats of deliberate food contamination, including those by terrorists, focusing on the: (1) extent to which food has been deliberately contaminated with a biological...