Agro-terrorism threat a real one
Chad Groening - OneNewsNow - 9/3/2009 4:00:00 AM
An author and terrorism expert says as the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks approaches, Americans need to be aware of the threat of agro-terrorism and the impact it could have on the nation's food supply.
Tim Downs is the author of Ends of the Earth (Thomas Nelson, September 2009), a novel which explores the scenario of a terrorist attack on U.S. farms which contaminates the nation's food supply. Downs, who has done extensive research on agro-terrorism, says it is especially difficult to defend against.
"The concern about an agricultural act of terrorism is we just can't defend a thousand-acre farm," he explains. "You can put up a metal detector in an airport -- but how do you protect a thousand acres of corn or wheat?"
The 2007 Christy Award-winning author says this method of terrorism is much cheaper than making a nuke.
"Experts have estimated that for a terrorist group to develop a nuclear weapon could cost them a billion dollars," Downs notes. "But to develop a very good biological arsenal you would need about ten million dollars and a very small lab and a master's degree in chemical engineering."
Downs says more than likely the terrorists would use genetically altered insects to spread pathogens to infest the crops. According to the author, experiments of this kind were conducted by both the former Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Link
All of us have the images of 9/11 seared into our memory; they are as vivid as if it had just happened yesterday. However, the panic and destruction that occurred that day could pale in comparison to a successful agro-terrorism event. Chances are good that this type of event might not even originate from the Middle East, but quite possibly from a home-grown animal rights or environmental activist group. On 9/12 none of us felt very good, but we learned the importance of being diligent in protecting our selves. We can’t let time fade that lesson. Our food supply will depend on it.