Who's on first : unraveling the complexity of the United States' food and agricultural regulatory system in the realm of homeland security
Elliott, Gary Wayne.
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The food and agricultural sector received the designation of critical infrastructure important to national security after the events of September 11, 2001. With an increase of foodborne illnesses at the national level since the new designation, there has been increased concern about the current regulatory approach to the sector, in the paradigm of homeland defense and security. A continuing reliance on a complex web of regulatory oversight from multiple agencies from both unintentional and intentional contamination of the food supply sets the premise for the overarching research question and argument for the thesis. Is it time to restructure the food safety regulatory system into a single agency to provide a smarter focus to a globally expanding and vulnerable sector? The thesis uses secondary qualitative analysis of data as a method to explore existing information and patterns to answer the research question and support of the argument that a single agency is a smarter approach. A conceptual framework is provided of what a new agency will look like based on existing information and realistic concepts garnered from the research. The thesis produces a more efficient and effective focus and balance on the protection of this vital sector to national security while maintaining vigilance to the traditional focus on day-to-day food safety.
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