Record Display for the EPA National Library Catalog


Main Title Hitting America's soft underbelly : the potential threat of deliberate biological attacks against the U.S. agricultural and food industry /
Author Chalk, Peter.
Publisher Rand Corp.,
Year Published 2004
Report Number MG-135-OSD
OCLC Number 53900640
ISBN 0833035223; 9780833035226
Subjects Agriculture--Defense measures--United States ; Civil defense--United States ; Food industry and trade--Defense measures--United States ; Bioterrorism--United States--Prevention ; Bioterrorism--prevention & control ; Security Measures ; POLITICAL SCIENCE--Political Freedom & Security--Law Enforcement ; MEDICAL--Health Policy
Internet Access
Description Access URL
Library Call Number Additional Info Location Last
EJBM  UA929.95.A35C49 2004 Headquarters Library/Washington,DC 10/29/2004
Collation xviii, 47 pages ; 23 cm
"Prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense." "MG-135-OSD"--Page 4 of cover. Includes bibliographical references.
Contents Notes
Over the past decade, the United States has endeavored to increase its ability to detect, prevent, and respond to terrorist threats and incidents. The agriculture sector and the food industry in general, however, have received comparatively little attention with respect to protection against terrorist incidents. This study aims to expand the current debate on domestic homeland security by assessing the vulnerabilities of the agricultural sector and the food chain to a deliberate act of biological terrorism. The author presents the current state of research on threats to agricultural livestock and produce, outlines the sector's importance to the U.S. economy, examines the capabilities that are needed to exploit the vulnerabilities in the food industry, and explores the likely outcomes of a successful attack. The author addresses the question of why terrorists have yet to employ agricultural assaults as a method of operation and offers proposed recommendations for the U.S. policymaking community. Research methods -- The importance of the agricultural sector to the U.S. economy -- Organization of this report -- Concentrated and intensive contemporary farming practices -- Increased susceptibility of livestock to disease -- Insufficient farm/food-related security and surveillance -- Inefficient passive disease-reporting system -- Inappropriate veterinarian and diagnostic training -- A focus on aggregate rather than individual livestock statistics -- Capability requirements for carrying out an agroterrorist attack -- Economic disruption -- Loss of political support and confidence in the government -- Social instability -- Agroterrorism to generate financial capital and as a form of blackmail -- Biological assaults against agriculture and terrorists' modus operandi.