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Food (Terrorism

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 4 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of protection against terrorist action in the (a) food production and (b) food distribution industries. [116276]

The terrorist threat to the UK, including the threat to the food production and food distribution industries, is monitored regularly by the Government and we and the industry remain vigilant. Advice on any terrorist threat to the UK is the responsibility of the Security Service. The Director General of the Security Service is responsible to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary for this advice, which is provided on a continual basis. Strategic assessments about terrorist threats to the UK are provided to the Government by the Joint Intelligence Committee.Defra is also heavily engaged in the central Government programme to improve civil contingency planning, especially in areas relating to our departmental responsibilities. Planning is developed and agreed with stakeholders, both in government and industry, including food and agriculture interests, to ensure that the UK's resilience to emergencies of all kinds, including possible terrorist action against the UK food chain, is improved.