The Very Food on Your Plate
(and the Water in Your Glass)
IN THE DARK WINTER SCENARIO WE REPLAYED IN CHAPTER 1, you may have overlooked one of the items placed on the hypothetical agenda that was disrupted by events in Oklahoma City and elsewhere: Taiwan had accused China of having purposely spread foot-and-mouth disease virus over several pig farms. Animal and crop pathogens have been a part of the biological warfare armamentarium of nearly every country that ever had a bioweapons program. Such an attack could certainly be plausible.
In the context of something like a smallpox attack, you might think this seems like small potatoes, barely getting onto the radar screen. You’d be wrong. If the true purpose of bioterrorism is social and economic disruption and the spread of fear and uncertainty across as many people as possible for as long as possible, disruption of food and water supplies can be a major weapon. That form of bioterrorism is called agroterrorism.
Agroterrorism is a threat not only to the daily bread and meat that goes on our plates and the water we wash it down with. Serious interruption of our domestic food or water supply is actually a rather low- probability outcome of an agroterrorism attack. The major impact would be economic. The United States