1094: Food as Weapons of Terror
Hank Parker, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Will food be used again as a weapon of terror?
Let’s start with what we know:
We know there are periodic accidental contaminations of food that cause widespread sickness and death. Examples include the recent salmonella outbreak in Chipotle locations across the country and the Colorado cantaloupes contaminated with listeria that killed 33.
But what about deliberate contaminations?
We know that in 1984 followers of the guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh contaminated the salad bars of 10 restaurants in The Dalles, Oregon with salmonella in order to incapacitate voters so their own candidates could win the Wasco County elections. 751 people were sickened and 45 were hospitalized.
We know that in 2001 letters containing anthrax were sent to public officicals and news organizations, killing five and infecting 17 others. After a 9 year investigation, the FBI indentified a scientist at the government’s biodefense labs as the culprit.
But what about the country’s enemies using food as a deliberate weapon of terror?
We know that when U.S. forces raided a warehouse in Afghanistan in 2002, they found documents describing ways to use biological weapons to attack American agriculture in ways that would cause widespread terror and economic damage.
What we do know leads us to ask...
Will food be used as a weapon of terror against the United States?
Food Chain Radio & Forums #1,094 (Tags: Georgetown University Professor Hank Parker, Ph.D., author of Containment, agroterrorism, food terrorism)