The Senate Homeland Security Committee has passed an agroterrorism bill to the full Senate for debate. The Securing our Agriculture and Food Act, introduced by Kansas Republican Pat Roberts and Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill, requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to lead the government’s efforts to secure our nation’s food, agriculture and veterinary systems against terrorism and high-risk events.
The bill also authorizes the secretary to collaborate with other agencies, to ensure food, agriculture and animal and human health sectors are integrated into the Department of Homeland Security’s domestic preparedness policy initiatives. McCaskill says of the bill: “Congress needs to think forward about the wide array of threats we face and take action before there’s a tragedy, not afterwards,” when it comes to threats to agriculture. The bill was also introduced in the House of Representatives by Iowa Republican David Young and New Jersey Democrat Dan Donovan.