Agroterrorism: United States Department of Defense Essay

3501 WordsDec 11, 201115 Pages
Agroterrorism Michael Alexander American Military University EDMG-340 November 23, 2011 Cheryl Wilhelmsen Abstract Agriculture is a key component and driver of our economy as well as the main food source for US citizens. The US serves as one of the largest exporters of food supplies to nations around the globe. (1) A significant disruption in our exports would have ripple effects within the US and throughout the global health system. The potential impacts of an Agroterrorism attack would be devastating to public health, both nationally and on the global front could be significant. (2) Definitions of Agroterrorism Agroterrorism is a subset of the larger field of threats posed by chemical and biological terrorism. As…show more content…
FADs are transmissible diseases thought to be absent from the United States. Our systems of agriculture and food production provide significant vulnerabilities to terrorist attack both in our methods of animal management and traditional food production. Due to the vulnerabilities created by the openness of our systems, great opportunity is provided to terrorists, who with minimal capabilities and at limited personal risk, could severely impact the system. Although this paper focuses primarily on the impacts of agroterrorism against our livestock populations, the threat to crops and other food products through introduction of certain pathogens is also a concern. A number of infectious pathogens exist which could be used to carry out an agroterror attack. The U.S Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002 provides the official list (6) of potential animal pathogens which emergency planners use as a “threat” list for potential response. This list is based upon a list of agents published by the Office International des Epizooites (OIE) (7) also known as the World Organization for Animal Health. Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) (8) is thought by many to present the most significant and challenging risk to our

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