Agriterrorism / Agroterrorism - Public
Awareness Research Site - It's Food for Thought!
"The concern about an agricultural act of terrorism is
we just can't defend a thousand-acre farm," he explains.
"You can put up a metal detector in an airport -- but
how do you protect a thousand acres of corn or wheat?"
2007 Christy Award-winning author says this method of
terrorism is much cheaper than making a nuke.
"Experts have estimated that for a terrorist group to
develop a nuclear weapon could cost them a billion
dollars," Downs notes. "But to develop a very good
biological arsenal you would need about ten million
dollars and a very small lab and a master's degree in
Downs says more than likely the terrorists would use
genetically altered insects to spread pathogens to
infest the crops. According to the author, experiments
of this kind were conducted by both the former Soviet
Union and Nazi Germany.
Agro-terrorism threat a real one
Chad Groening - OneNewsNow - 9/3/2009
author and terrorism expert says as the anniversary of
the 9/11 terror attacks approaches, Americans need to be
aware of the threat of agro-terrorism and the impact it
could have on the nation's food supply.
Tim Downs is the author of Ends of the Earth
(Thomas Nelson, September 2009), a novel which explores
the scenario of a terrorist attack on U.S. farms which
contaminates the nation's food supply. Downs, who has
done extensive research on agro-terrorism, says it is
especially difficult to defend against.
"If we didn't realize what was happening, half a
million people would drink this milk... most of
these would be poisoned, roughly half of them
A terrorist attack
on the food chain on that scale has never
happened. The purported ease with which such an
attack could be executed is controversial.
Historically, there have been at least five acts
of agro-terrorism in the United States[citation
needed] and 17 worldwide. In
one attack, a radical group claimed to have
released Mediterranean fruit flies in
California. The Medfly attacks more than 250
varieties of fruits, nuts and vegetables. A
similar attack with a corn or soybean pest could
devastate South Dakota's agriculture industry
Agroterrorism, also known as Agriterrorism, is "the
malicious use of plant or animal pathogens to cause
devastating disease in the agricultural sector. It may
also take the form of hoaxes and threats intended to
create public fear of such events".
From a BBC article on the subject: When Tommy Thompson
stood down as US health secretary in 2004, he delivered
a stark warning. "I, for the life of me, cannot
understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food
supply, because it is so easy to do," he said. In the
same article, Larry Wein from Stanford University
describes the scenario of poisoning a milk tanker with
10 grams of botulinum toxin, and is quoted concluding:
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