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Morning Security Brief: New Food Security Rules, Flight Debris Eludes Searchers, and More

By Megan Gates

► “Under new proposed rules from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), food processors and manufacturers—both domestic and companies abroad that ship food to the United States—would need to take steps to mitigate a potential terrorist attack,” according to NPR. If the new rule goes into effect, food facilities would be required to identify and implement focused mitigation strategies to “significantly minimize or prevent significant vulnerabilities identified at actionable process steps in food preparation.” The most recent large bioterrorist attack in the United States occurred in 1984 in The Dallas, Oregon, when members of a cult infected salad bars with salmonella and more than 700 people became ill. However, since then, the U.S. food system has faced unintentional outbreaks, such as a crop of cantaloupe infected with listeria in 2011 that killed 33 people. The rule is currently open for public comment through March 31, 2014, and is part of the broader FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

► The search for the missing Malaysia flight 370 continued today in the southern Indian Ocean, but those hunting for signs of the plane did not find anything of “significance,” according to USA TODAY. Searchers were sent to that portion of the ocean after Australia said it may have spotted possible wreckage from the flight, but they were unsuccessful in their search today. Warren Truss, Australia’s acting prime minister while Tony Abbott is in Papua New Guinea, said that two Chinese aircraft are expected to arrive in Perth on Saturday to join the search and two Japanese aircraft will join the effort Sunday.

► Today marks the deadline in Ukraine for self-defense groups in Independence Square in Kiev to turn in illegal firearms. The country’s interim government set the deadline for today in an effort to stabilize Ukraine and extend the government’s authority, reports The New York Times. Members of the self-defense groups have been reluctant to comply with the order. “Like gun owners in countries like the United States and Switzerland where ownership of firearms is widespread, they contend that the weapons are needed to defend the country against a possible foreign invasion and to defend their freedoms from potential government abuse,” according to the Times. The order to turn in illegal firearms comes after the lower house of Russia’s parliament approved a treaty to annex Crimea from Ukraine and after the United States and Russia issued a new round of sanctions on one another. Hryhoriy Nemyria, a member of Ukraine’s parliament, told the Times that the widespread distribution of illegal firearms could easily be used by Russia to justify further intervention in Ukraine. “Arms out of control of the state are of course a factor in instability, and should not be allowed to drift by inertia,” he said. “In the context of Russian agents crossing the border, the guns are a catalyst for disorder. Arming the population is not our policy.”

 

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