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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".[1]

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: "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 would die"

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 and 17 worldwide. In one attack, a radical group claimed to have released Mediterranean fruit flies in California.[2] 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.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Agriterrorism Homeland Defense Stocks
  2. ^ Bonfante, Jordan. "Medfly Madness", Time Magazine, January 8, 1990, accessed December 25, 2008.
  3. ^ The threat of agri terrorism South Dakota Department of Agriculture

External links



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