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Defending the Safety of the Global Food System: Advances in Food Security and Safety

Alpas, Hami
Kiymaz, Taylan
The recent food and financial crises developed from different underlying causes but intertwined in complex ways through their implications not only for financial and economic stability, food security, political security; but also for greater diligence in food defense against deliberate contamination with either economic or terrorist motives. Food security is a hot topic therefore; its disruption via environmental breakdown is an obvious cause for terrorism. The intentional contamination of the food supply poses a real threat to society. It has the potential to disrupt food distribution, loss of consumer confidence in government and the food supply, business failures, trade restrictions, and adverse effects on the economy. The global food system is very vulnerable, both structural and social. The bulk production and need for rapid production, sourcing and distribution at both national and international level is beyond the limits of routine food safety measures of the industry; especially against high-impact deliberate contamination. Adapting to the additional threats to food security arising from major environmental changes requires an integrated food system approach - strengthening the sector's infrastructure against deliberate contamination - thereby making the food system less vulnerable to attack(s) or destructive economic outcomes. In this respect vulnerability assessment arouses as an alternative to address food supply-chain security by determining the selection of countermeasures to minimize or eliminate vulnerabilities as well as enhancing the capability to identify, respond and recover from intentional contamination and emergency responses.