June 30, 2017, THE WHITE HOUSE – President Donald J. Trump signed into law H.R, 1238 Securing our Agriculture and Food Act.
In General—Title V of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 311 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
“SEC. 528. COORDINATION OF DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY EFFORTS RELATED TO FOOD, AGRICULTURE, AND VETERINARY DEFENSE AGAINST TERRORISM.”
Program Required—The Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through the Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs, shall carry out a program to coordinate the Department’s efforts related to defending the food, agriculture, and veterinary systems of the United States against terrorism and other high-consequence events that pose a high risk to homeland security…”The purpose of H.R. 1238 is to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to make the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Health Affairs responsible for coordinating the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security related to food, agriculture, and veterinary defense against terrorism.
The purpose of H.R. 1238 is to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to make the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Health Affairs responsible for coordinating the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security related to food, agriculture, and veterinary defense against terrorism.
Background and Need for Legislation
Agriculture is critical to public health and the Nation’s economy. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the food and agriculture sector annually produces $300 billion in food and other products and is responsible for an estimated one out of every 12 U.S. jobs. Agriculture directly or indirectly supports 16 million jobs. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), “agricultural exports surpassed $152 billion in Fiscal Year 2014, and have climbed more than 58% in value since 2009, totaling $771.7 billion over the past 5 years.” An intentional attack on, or natural disruption of, our agriculture or food production systems “can present a serious threat to the national economy and human health and can halt or slow trade.”