After the terrorist attacks of September 11,2001, the United States (U.S.) government established a policy to identify critical infrastructure, including food and agriculture production systems, to protect them from terrorist attacks. Criticality is defined as the negative impact of an attack on or failure of a given infrastructure on the nation if it were compromised or destroyed. Food and agriculture systems were identified as one of 18 critical infrastructures. Identifying which food systems were the most critical to the nation was an enormous task, since the food and agriculture sector is almost entirely privately owned, is comprised of an estimated 2.1 million farms, has over 1 million production facilities, and accounts for roughly one-fifth of U.S. economic activity. To assist the Department of Homeland Security in determining which food systems were the most critical to the nation, the National Center for Food Protection and Defense developed the Food and Agriculture Systems Criticality Assessment Tool (FASCAT) to support states' identification of critical systems. The FASCAT was used to document, evaluate, and compare 741 disparate complex food and agriculture systems across 39 states to determine their criticality. The objective of these assessments was to prioritize the allocation of threat mitigation resources to the most critical systems. Prior to the use of FASCAT, no food and agriculture systems were identified as critical in the U.S. Now, with the use of FASCAT, many food and agriculture systems have been added to the criticality list. This article discusses why the FASCAT was built, how it has evolved, and how the process currently works.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Food Protection Trends|
|State||Published - Jul 1 2013|