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Nation's food anti-terror plans costly, unwieldy
Food defense plans still unwieldy a decade after Sept. 11, many upgrades costly and secret
By The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ' One of the deepest fears sweeping a shattered nation following the Sept. 11 attacks was that terrorists might poison the country's food.

Hoping to ease anxieties, President George W. Bush vowed to draw a protective shield around the food supply and defend it, from farm to fork.

The Associated Press finds the government has spent at least $3.4 billion on food counter-terrorism in the last decade, but key programs have been bogged down in a huge, multi-headed bureaucracy. And with no single agency in charge, officials acknowledge it is impossible to measure whether orchards or feedlots are any safer.

On Tuesday, a Senate subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine a congressional watchdog's new report revealing federal setbacks in protecting cattle and crops since Sept. 11.

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