Sunday, December 05, 2004

Thompson says goodbye and wonders why terrorists have not been smarter...

Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson appeared to deviated from his script a little bit during his resignation press conference.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do," he said...

The former Wisconsin governor has warned about food safety issues since before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and pushed for more money for safeguards. Spending on food security has increased from $800,000 to $150 million during Thompson's tenure, and there are eight times as many food inspections now as in 2001, according to HHS figures.
I realize that this is a pet issue for the Secretary, but does it really make sense to broadcast before the what he perceives as a glaring weakness in our homeland defense efforts. Certainly, the food chain is a fairly easy target for terrorists. In fact, the Rajneeshees, a cult located in Oregon, actually carried out a bio attack that targeted salad bars. The result turned out to be over 700 people becoming ill.

There is plenty of evidence that the food supply is vulnerable to terrorist attack. From food imports to food processing plants to restaurants, the number of targets is extremely large and the difficulty of contamination remains fairly low.

This is certainly well known to anyone who takes a few minutes to read up on the issue or studies terrorism/counter-terrorism. Sadly, there is probably not much that can be done to remedy this deficiency.