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ATLANTA --An effective, coordinated response will be critical in the event of a terrorist attack on the U.S. food supply or a large-scale food contamination caused by natural disaster, according to research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
That research, based on data from Hurricane Katrina and other disasters and domestic terrorism, will be presented at the Food Protection and Defense Research Conference, being held here Nov. 3-4.
Hosted by the Institute of Food Technologists and Homeland Security's National Center for Food Protection and Defense, the conference will include a keynote address by Melvin Bernstein, Ph.D., who oversees programs that focus on combating terrorism as part of the overall DHS research, education, and industry outreach effort. Bernstein's group is responsible for several DHS Centers of Excellence, including one addressing foreign animal diseases and another on issues related to intentional food contamination.
Meanwhile, Omar Keith Helferich, Ph.D., a researcher with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, and most recently an assistant director of logistics for the American Red Cross during the early response to Katrina, will speak about his experience with Katrina recovery and the Oklahoma City and World Trade Center attacks. He will also focus upon food supply chain security initiatives now being developed.
The IFT Food Protection and Defense Research Conference will also feature sessions directed by other leaders with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, the National Center for Zoonotic and Foreign Animal Disease Defense, the Food Safety Research and Response Network, and elsewhere.
For details on the conference, visit http://www.ift.org/fooddefense.