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Agro-terrorism

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Last updated: 03/2009


UPCOMING EVENTS
International Symposium on Agroterrorism
April 22-24, 2008

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IN RECENT NEWS

Jennifer Sullivan, "Agencies Coordinate on Monroe farm for potential 'agroterrorism' attack," Seattle Times, September 27, 2007.
Description of agency response to simulated agroterrorist attack.

Jeffrey Lockwood, "Bug Bomb: Why our next terrorist attack could come on six legs," The Boston Globe, October 21, 2007.
Addresses the danger of insects as biological warfare agents, with potential debilitating affects against both agricultural livestock and humans.

Simon Cox, "US food supply 'vulnerable to attack," BBC News, August 22, 2006.
Covers past incidents of agroterrorism and implications of a possible future attack, paying particular attention to methods, targets, and response systems set in place.

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ARCHIVED ARTICLES & PAPERS

Rick Weiss, "Report Warns of Threat to Milk Supply," Washington Post, June 29, 2005.
Details the Stanford report about the vulnerable milk supply industry, and describes the government's efforts to contain the findings based on security concerns.

Henry S. Parker, "Agricultural Bioterrorism: A Federal Strategy to Meet the Threat," Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, 2002. (PDF Format)
Chapters 1-4 cover: Bioterrorism, Biowarfare, and National Security; Emerging Threats to Food Safety; Countering the Threat; Recommendations and Conclusion.

Jason Pate and Gavin Cameron, "Covert Biological Weapons Attacks Against Agricultural Targets: Assessing the Impact Against U.S. Agriculture," Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (BCSIA) Discussion Paper 2001-9, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, August 2001. (PDF Format)
Provides definitions of agricultural terrorism, examines the potential costs if an attack occurred (including political), and details cases of previous incidents, both those targeted only at agriculture, and also attacks intended to cause human fatality.

Sharon Stevenson & Jeremy Bigwood, "Drug Control or Biowarfare?" Mother Jones, May 3, 2000.
Resource on the proposed use of mycoherbicides (toxic fungi) to eliminate coca crops in Colombia. Also see: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-2829 (Status of the proposed bill that calls for "a scientific study of the use of mycoherbicide to eliminate illicit drug crops.")

Rocco Casagrande, "Biological Terrorism Targeted at Agriculture: The Threat to US National Security," The Nonproliferation Review, 7:3 (Fall-Winter 2000). (PDF format)
Addresses allocations of funds to USDA for biosecurity, and describes ease of acquisition and dispersal of pathogens in a farm environment.

Anne Kohnen, "Responding to the Threat of Agroterrorism: Specific Recommendations for the United States Department of Agriculture," BCSIA Discussion Paper 2000-29, October 2000. (PDF format)
Motivations behind and feasibility of an agroterror attack. Includes recommendations for greater security.

Steve Goldstein, "U.S. officials awakening to threat of agroterror," Dallas Morning News, June 27, 1999.
Assessment of threat to agriculture, covering methods and motivating factors, as well as potential costs.

"Plant Pathology's Role in Anti-Crop Bioterrorism and Food Security," Symposium from Joint American and Canadian Phytopathological Society, Montreal, Canada, August 7-11, 1999.
"Crop Biosecurity," American Phytopathological Society
Sept. 15-Oct. 31, 1999
Overview of topics covered at the APS symposium, with a focus on crop biosecurity. Includes references to further reading and tables of potential bioterrorist pathogens.

Benjamin C. Garrett, "The Colorado Potato Beetle Goes to War," CBW Conventions Bulletin, September 1996. (PDF format)
During World War II, in an interesting series of coincidences, the Colorado Potato Beetle was mobilized by both the British and German sides for possible biological warfare.

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BOOKS

Jason B. Moats, Agroterrorism: A Guide for First Responders, (Texas A&M University Press, 2007).

U.S. Government, 21st Century Essential Guide to Agricultural Terrorism, Agroterrorism, Agriterrorism, Bioweapons, Pathogens, Food, Plants, Livestock (CD-ROM) (Progressive Management, 2006).

Michael Grey, The Bioterrorism Sourcebook, (McGraw-Hill Professional, 2006).

Linda B. Katz (Editor), Agroterrorism: Another Domino? (Novinka Books, 2005).

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SYMPOSIUMS AND ASSEMBLIES

2005 Agroterrorism Assembly
Program overview of Agroterrorism Assembly, including keynote speakers.

R. A. Norton, Symposium: Agro-Terrorism: "Biological Threats and Biosecurity Measures: Food Security Issues—A Potential Comprehensive Plan," Poultry Science Association, Inc., 2003. (PDF Format)
Article detailing the structure of Auburn University's proposed Consolidated American Network for Agriculture Resource Intelligence (CANARI) program. The CANARI system is designed to coordinate all components (existing and planned) necessary to prevent, detect, and respond to potential agroterrorism events."

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CRS REPORTS

CRS Report for Congress, "The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress," Updated November 15, 2007. (PDF Format)
"This report outlines current progress towards establishment of the NBAF,
presents current and projected funding levels and timelines, and describes policy
issues of potential interest to Congress, such as agency coordination, possession of
viruses, construction timelines, and community safety concerns."


CRS Report for Congress, "Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness," Updated March 12, 2007. (PDF Format)
This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the agroterror threat, including congressional and executive branch responses and federal funding allocations.

CRS Report for Congress, "Agroterrorism: Options in Congress," Updated July 17, 2002. (PDF Format)
Overview of potential economic impact of agroterrorism, also including threat assessment and status of current defenses.

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HEARINGS

Hearing before the Committee on Homeland Security, "CDC Agroterrorism and Zoonotic Threat Preparedness Efforts," August 24, 2006 (Lonnie J. King, D.V.M., Senior Veterinarian, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).
Clarifies the role of the CDC in the event of an agroterrorist attack, with important definitions of zoonotic and vector-borne diseases. Also detailed are current and proposed methods of surveillance and epidemiology. Includes a proposal for a National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases.


Testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment, May 25, 2005 (Rocco Casagrande, Ph.D.). (PDF Format)
Testimony on the perceived threat of agroterrorism, with potential motivating factors for terrorists and weaknesses of the American agriculture industry.

Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs Hearing, "Agroterrorism: The Threat to America's Breadbasket," November 19, 2003. (PDF Format)
Overview of the two-panel hearing in 2003, which addressed lax biosecurity in the agricultural sector.

Further reference:
Agricultural Biological Threat to the United States Hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, October 27, 1999.
o Statement of Robert J. Newberry, Deputy Asst. Secretary of
Defense for Combating Terrorism. (PDF Format)
o Statement of Dr. Floyd P. Horn, Administrator, Agricultural Research Service, USDA. (PDF Format)

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LEGISLATION

S. 1532 [109th]: Agroterrorism Prevention Act of 2005 (Introduced)
"To amend title 18 of the United States Code to criminalize acts of agroterrorism, and to enhance the protection of the United States agricultural industry and food security through the increased prevention, detection, response and recovery planning."

Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002, Full Text, http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2002/08/fr081202.html

Q's and A's About the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002: "Possession, Use, and Transfer of Biological Agents and Toxins," August 2005, <Aphis.usda.gov>. (PDF Format)

Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992, Public Law 102-346
Senate Concurrent Resolution 24 (S. CON. RES. 24), March 25, 1999.
"To express the sense of Congress on the need for the United States to defend the American agricultural and food supply system from industrial sabotage and terrorist threats."

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BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION (BWC)

The Federation Of American Scientists - Working Group On Biological Weapons Verification, Report Of The Subgroup On Investigation Of Alleged Use Or Release Of Biological Or Toxin Weapons Agents, April 1996.
o Appendix II: Description of Procedures Commonly Used in the Field Investigation of a Suspect Outbreak of Infectious Disease or Intoxication of Humans and Animals.
o Appendix III: Description of Procedures Commonly Used in the Field Investigation of a Suspect Outbreak of Infectious Disease or Intoxication of Plants.
Graham S. Pearson, "BTWC Security Implications of Human, Animal and Plant Epidemiology," Bradford Briefing Paper No. 23, July 1999.
(PDF format)

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LINKS

Center for State Homeland Security—Agricultural Terrorism Readings

Terrorism Information Center- Agricultural Terrorism

University of Louisville, Agricultural Terrorism and Security Page

"Preparedness and Response to Agricultural Terrorism, Program of Instruction," National Center for Biomedical Research and Training,
Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education,
Louisiana State University (PDF Format)

University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources—Agroterrorism page

Plum Island - official USDA site
Agricultural Research Service - USDA

Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service - USDA

Navy Disease Vector Ecology & Control Sector, Bangor, Washington

Office International Des Epizooties (World Organization for Animal Health)

U.S. Army Veterinary Command (VETCOM)

Counter-Terrorism, Training and Resources for Law Enforcement

Last updated: 01/2008


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