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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 18, 2005

Expert To Discuss Importation, Risk To Agriculture

In 2005, the United States will import more than $58 billion in agricultural products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. But security experts caution that weaknesses in the importation process can put the nation's food supply at risk for intentional contamination.

On Thursday, Aug. 25, Radford Davis, D.V.M., assistant professor of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine at Iowa State University, will present "Import and the Risk to Agriculture." The program will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 5236 of the Westlawn Building on the University of Iowa campus, and is free and open to the public. It also will be broadcast live over the Iowa Communications Network and via streaming video on the Web.

In his talk, Davis will discuss food security, address the importance of food imports to the American diet, explain the steps in importing food and cover the basics of the container trade.

Davis serves as an assistant director at the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University. He has conducted training at the state level in the areas of bioterrorism and agroterrorism, and has developed extensive educational materials for use by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, state veterinary response teams, universities, local law enforcement and other entities.

He has developed and teaches a course on agroterrorism for the Center for Homeland Security and Defense (CHSD) at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). He is also a subject matter expert on agroterrorism for the NPS-CHSD Mobile Education Team Seminar for Governors, a Department of Homeland Security-sponsored program.

Davis' lecture is part of the fall 2005 Grand Rounds series sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness (UMCPHP). Advanced registration is requested and may be completed online at Links to the live Web broadcast, as well as archives of past presentations, are available on the center's site.

In addition, UI Television (UITV) also will be showing the archived presentation. More information about the UITV service area and program schedule can be found on the UITV Web site,

The presentation is sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, based in the UI College of Public Health, Iowa Association of Local Public Health Agencies and Iowa Department of Public Health. UMCPHP is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information on the Grand Round series, contact Angela Harding, program assistant in the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, at 319-335-8451 or by e-mail at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,