A recently-signed bill to beef up the agricultural border, airport, and seaport inspectors and canine teams comes at an especially key time for food safety and human health concerns. The bipartisan bill signed by President Trump authorizes U.S. Customs and Border Protection to hire hundreds of new Ag inspectors and support staff, plus canine teams to detect illicit and tainted fruits, vegetables, and meats. Scott Bennett is director of congressional relations with the American Farm Bureau.
“Having the increased funds for border inspection to try and mitigate, not only African Swine Fever and other diseases and viruses coming into our country, but things that affect the public health, like the coronavirus.”
Bennett added this new law is also about protecting confidence in the “most safe and secure” food system in the world. Customs and Border Protection estimates there’s a shortage of nearly 700 Ag inspectors across the U.S. to check the millions of pounds of Ag goods that come through U.S. ports of entry every day.
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