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Agricultural News

There is No Centralized Oversight for Food and Agro-Defense says Government Accountability Office

Tue, 13 Sep 2011 16:23:14 CDT

There is No Centralized Oversight for Food and Agro-Defense says Government Accountability Office In a public hearing held by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia today, Lisa Shames, Director of Natural Resources and Environment for the U.S. Government Accountability Office, testified on Agro-Defense and what they are doing to respond to threats to America's agriculture and food systems.

A study was released today as well that shows how the agencies are working together on Agro-Defense. Shames says there were three key findings in their study. The first key finding Shames addressed in her testimony was that there is no centralized coordination to oversee federal agencies' overall progress in implementing the nation's food and agriculture defense policy. Shames says the centralized oversight is critical to insure an effective response.

GAO's second key finding that Shames discussed was that the USDA does not have a strategy for implementing its food and agriculture defense strategies. Shames says the USDA has delegated these steps to their agencies. While USDA has taken steps to implement departments response and recovery responsibilities, the department face challenges continues Shames.

The third finding the GAO brought to light was that the USDA faces challenges in coordinating the federal food and agriculture response for natural disasters. Shames says many state agencies told them in their study that because several federal agencies become involved in these emergencies, responsibilities are not always clear and could delay a response.

In conclusion, Shames says the GAO included several recommendations in their study to help ensure that the federal government can effectively implement a food and agriculture defense system and adequadetly respond and recover from emergencies.

Click on the LISTEN bar below to hear all of Lisa Shames testimony to the subcommittee on the GAO study that was released.

Click here to visit the U.S. GAO website with additional information on their study.



Lisa Shames of U.S. GAO testifies at U.S. Senate hearing
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