FOOD AND AGROTERRORISM IS NOT A SIGNIFICANT THREAT
FOODBORNE & WATERBORNE BIOTERRORIST ATTACKS WILL KILL SMALL NUMBERS OF PEOPLE
Dr. Raymond Zilinskas Senior Scientist-in-Residence for the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Project at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Oct. 20, 1999. Monterey Institute of International Studies CNS Reports ASSESSING THE THREAT OF BIOTERRORISMhttp://cns.miis.edu/pubs/reports/zilin.htm //VT2002acsln
It is highly probable that biological attacks by terrorists or criminals utilizing foodborne and waterborne pathogens or toxic chemicals will occur in the next five years. Much like what has taken place in the past, these attacks are likely to cause casualties ranging in number from a few to hundreds.
TERRORISTS DO NOT LIKE AGROTERRORISM BECAUSE IT ISNT POWERFUL ENOUGH OR HIGH PROFILE ENOUGH
Peter Chalk is an expert on transnational terrorism at the RAND Corporation, February 1, 2001 Jane's Intelligence Review HEADLINE: The US agricultural sector: a new target for terrorism? //VT2002acsln
Finally, it could be that terrorists consider this form of aggression to be too 'dry' in comparison to traditional bombings, in the sense that attacks against crops and animals do not produce immediate, visible effects. The impact, while significant, is delayed, lacking a single point for the media to focus on. As such, the fact that biological agro-terrorism has not emerged as more of a problem is perhaps understandable.
FOODBORNE ILLNESS IS NOT THAT LIKELY TO KILL PEOPLE
MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, School of Public Health, Univ. of Minnesota, 2000; LIVING TERRORS: What America needs to know to survive the coming bioterrorist catastrophe //VT2002acs p. 89
Fortunately, only a very few of the infectious agents that cause foodborne or waterborne diseases are likely to make the average person severely ill. While a patient may feel as if he is going to die as he simultaneously experiences vomiting and diarrhea, death is a relatively rare outcome. Unlike the bacteria and viruses that are typically considered when one describes bioweapons (such as smallpox and anthrax), those transmitted via food and water are much less deadly. Taking the standard estimate of 76 million illnesses and 5,000 deaths due to contaminated food consumption, one can quickly do the math: only one in approximately, 15,000 cases of foodborne disease will end in death.