The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning that agriculture is a target by foreigners engaged in “economic espionage.” At USDA’s Agriculture Outlook Forum, FBI representatives had a booth aimed at promoting awareness that agriculture is being targeted. The FBI told the Hagstrom Report that the agency has “a strategic partnership program” to combat the issue. At the forum, FBI officials were distributing a pamphlet that called agricultural economic espionage “a growing threat” and said foreigners may steal “intellectual property.” Information on the FBI’s website says investigations indicate economic espionage and trade secret theft against U.S. agricultural and biotechnology companies and institutes is on the rise.
The FBI says foreigners engaged in the act are targeting US companies, universities, and government research facilities for agricultural information concerning plant genome, new variety development, breeding programs, and advanced manufacturing processes. The practice, the FBI says, could give foreign governments or foreign companies to an unfair economic advantage.
Source: NAFB News Service