Ensuring Safe and Secure Food Systems

Ensuring Food Systems are Safe and Secure:
Understanding New Threats

(Webinar length:  1h 9m)

Concerns about food safety are more complex as a result of globalization. Linking local, national, and global food systems has provided tremendous benefits to consumers in terms of availability, variety, and pricing of food. The results of greater connectivity, however, have not been entirely positive as networked food systems are being recognized as considerable sources of threat and vulnerability.


Optimizing food safety involves ensuring that food supplies remain free from health threats whether from natural or accidental contamination. Food safety must also involve preventing actors with nefarious intent from using food systems to intentionally cause harm for criminal, terrorist or warfighting purposes (a set of concerns often discussed as food defense).

Despite national and international regulatory efforts to improve food safety, foodborne illness remains a significant area of concern. Contamination of crops, livestock, and food supplies can have significant impacts on human and animal health as well as the cost and availability of food. Beyond governmental efforts, today’s food safety concerns present firms and industry sectors with considerable challenges to protect products and brands from harm by considering how to reduce threats and vulnerabilities in their operations.

This webinar will examine trends and challenges to food safety and food defense with a particular focus on questions of governance, regulation and legal issues including consideration of roles for individuals, companies, and government agencies.

Areas covered in the webinar:

  • Overview of the changing landscape of food safety threats and vulnerabilities
  • Discussion of trends in food production and consumption
  • Overview of areas of responsibility for food safety and food defense
  • Discussion of planning and preparedness needs for firms and agencies
  • Future directions in food safety concerns

Who will benefit:

  • Quality Control/Quality Assurance Managers
  • Production Managers
  • Product Developers
  • R&D, Sales and Marketing Personnel
  • Nutritionists and Dieticians
  • Regulatory Specialists
  • Food Scientists and Technologists
  • Food Safety Personnel
  • Government Food Inspectors
  • In-House and Independent Attorneys


Presenter - Bryan L. McDonald, Ph.D

Bryan L. McDonald is an Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at the Pennsylvania State University. He studies the changing landscape of global security threats and vulnerabilities that impact the national security of states and the human security of individuals and communities. His current research topics include: the politics of food security, food safety and food defense; environmental politics and sustainability; and the security impacts of transnational threats such as environmental change, health threats, and terrorism. Dr. McDonald is the author of Food Security (Polity Press, 2010) as well as numerous books and articles. He is a Fellow at Penn State’s International Center for the Study of Terrorism and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. McDonald received his B.A. and M.A. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine.

  • Item #: 0616bSafe
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