The Statue of Liberty will be closed for security upgrades starting about a year from now, depriving tourists a chance to visit the crown, base and pedestal for up to 12 months. Visitors to one of New York’s most popular attractions will still be able to visit the park surrounding the statue on Liberty Island, but the security upgrade will restrict access to the statue after October 12, 2011, when the statue celebrates its 125th anniversary. The $26 million dollar project will add fire-proof staircases, elevators and exits, said the superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. The only exit from the top of the 22-story observation deck is one narrow staircase. More than 5 million people visit the landmark every year, with 20,000 tourists a day flocking to the site during the summer. In another example, maple syrup wholesaler Maple Grove Farms in St. Johnsbury, Vermont shuttered a factory tour as a result of “food-defense” concerns that have sprouted since the September 11th attacks. The federal government has not instituted a blanket prohibition on factory tours. But post-9/11 guidelines developed by DHS and FDA have shaped the voluntary food-safety standards that companies like Maple Grove must meet in order to sell their wares to major retailers. Those retailers, the general manager at Maple Grove Farms says, require a “Safety Quality Food” certification. The director of business operations for Safe Quality Food — the entity that created the standards — says two “food-defense” guidelines added since the September 11th attacks have affected factory tours. “The first is being able to restrict certain personnel to their production area, and the other is regarding a facilities’ ability to manage the coming and going of visitors to the facility,” he says. The Maple Grove manager says retrofitting the building to satisfy the standard would be too costly. Ben & Jerry’s must also adhere to strict food-safety standards, maintains sufficient distance between visitors and production lines at its Waterbury factory, according to a spokesperson there. The director emeritus of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense says his organization has conceived “a number of scenarios that would be absolutely catastrophic if certain select agents or toxins were introduced at vulnerable points during the food production supply chain.”

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