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Bracing for Armageddon?The Science and Politics of Bioterrorism in America$
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William R Clark

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195336214

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336214.001.0001

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Agroterrorism

Agroterrorism

The Very Food on Your Plate (and the Water in Your Glass)

Chapter:
(p.93) Chapter 6 Agroterrorism
Source:
Bracing for Armageddon?
Author(s):

William R. Clark

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336214.003.0006

If the purpose of bioterrorism is social and economic disruption, and the spread of fear and uncertainty across as many people as possible, for as long as possible, disruption of food and water supplies – agroterrorism - can be a major weapon. People dying of thirst or starvation is actually a rather low-probability outcome of an agroterrorism attack. The US is a major supplier of food to the world, and agricultural exports account for a sizeable portion of America's trade income – about fifty billion dollars per year. Pathogenic contamination of American food supplies, which feed a sizeable portion of the world community, could bring about economic disaster the likes of which have not been seen since the Great Depression. It would affect not just farmers and agribusinesses who grow food for export: the collateral damage stemming from interference with this sector of our nation's business would ripple through the rest of our economy like a hot knife through butter.

Keywords:   agroterrorism, foot and mouth disease, quarantine, vaccination, crop destruction, feed lots, granaries, water contamination

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