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Chapter 13. Bioterrorism > Agroterrorism

Agroterrorism

Until September 11, 2001, the date of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC, the fear of terrorism was limited in the Western world and its risk was associated primarily with airliners. More recently, the government is considering all forms of terrorism. Some of the possible targets of terrorism include nuclear plants, large buildings, national monuments, water reservoirs, and the food supply. This brings up the threat of agroterrorism. Agroterrorism can be defined as the deliberate and malicious use of biological or chemical agents as weapons against agriculture, and more specifically, the food supply. The destruction of the food supply or its contamination with noxious agents can disrupt people and nations.

The safety of the food industry, including farming, processing, and distribution should be considered a matter of national security. Even so, the food industry is vulnerable to sabotage in nearly all steps of the production chain (Figure 13-3). Because of this, most scientists agree that the risk of an agroterrorism act cannot be precisely measured.


  

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