H.R. 1238 Will Secure American Food Supply
June 30, 2017

President Donald J. Trump is expected to sign H.R. 1238, also called the "Securing our Agriculture and Food Act," to coordinate efforts to defend U.S. food, agriculture and veterinary systems against terrorism.

Congress sent the bill to the White House for the President's consideration on June 27.

The bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs for the Department of Homeland Security to carry out a program to coordinate DHS efforts related to defending the food, agriculture and veterinary systems of the United States against terrorism and other high-consequence events that pose a risk to homeland security.

If signed into law, the act will:
  • Provide oversight and management of DHS's responsibilities pursuant to Homeland Security Presidential Directive 9 - Defense of United States Agriculture and Food;
  • Provide oversight and integration of DHS activities related to veterinary public health, food defense and agricultural security;
  • Lead DHS policy initiatives related to food, animal and agricultural incidents and to overall domestic preparedness for, and collective response to, agricultural terrorism;
  • Coordinate with other DHS components on activities related to food and agriculture security and screening procedures for domestic and imported products; and
  • Coordinate with appropriate federal departments and agencies.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, implementing H.R. 1238 will cost about $500,000 a year with such spending subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

Source: Food Safety News