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Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM Public Policy and Biological Threats.

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Presentation on theme: "Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM Public Policy and Biological Threats."— Presentation transcript:

1 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM Public Policy and Biological Threats IGCC/AAAS Wye River Biosecurity Workshop August 14-16, 2006

2 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM Agroterrorism - Defined Agroterrorism is defined as an intentional criminal act perpetrated on some segment of the agriculture industry and/or the food system, intended to inflict harm (public health crisis or economic disruption) and to achieve the objectives of the terrorist.

3 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM Tommy Thompson, former Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2004) For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply, because it is so easy to do.

4 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM HSPD 7: Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization and Protection Established a national policy to identify and prioritize U.S. critical infrastructure Identified agriculture as one of the critical infrastructure components that must be protected from terrorist attack continues on next slide

5 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM HSPD 7: Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization and Protection Critical infrastructure is defined as: …those systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.

6 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM HSPD-9: Defense of U.S. Agriculture and Food (January 30, 2004) Established a national policy to defend the agriculture and food system against terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies continues on next slide

7 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM Food-System Vulnerability and the Costs of an Agroterrorism Event The United States' agricultural and food systems are vulnerable to nearly any type of terrorist attack and to a wide spectrum of natural disasters – not just to agroterrorism. These events can cripple capacity to deliver safe, affordable food in sufficient amounts for the U.S. populace. The negative impact may spread across the nation and well beyond U.S. borders to other nations.

8 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM Agroterrorism Many different plant or animal pathogens can cause damage or loss of production. Some pathogens cause disease (death) in both humans and animals (zoonotic diseases). Food or water can carry diseases, poisons and toxins to people, causing illness or death. All agroterrorism will cause significant psychological impact.

9 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM Prions (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease) Bacterial pathogens Viral pathogens Fungal pathogens Parasitic pathogens Biologically produced toxins Genetically modified organisms Biological

10 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM Threat Classification Lists Two biological threat classification lists used when discussing biological terrorist threats are published by: –Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) –World Health Organization for Animalsformerly the Office International des Epizooties (OIE)

11 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM CDC and OIE Lists Potential for use in an agroterrorism attack Potential for use in an agroterrorism attack An agent could be chosen if: An agent could be chosen if: –It is easily obtainable –It is easily cultured –It is easily dispersed –It causes illness and death in target animal or human populations –It causes economic hardship to a community/nation –It has been previously weaponized

12 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM CDC List Category A, B or C Category A, B or C 57% of the CDCs Category A and 100% of CDCs Category B agents are zoonotic 57% of the CDCs Category A and 100% of CDCs Category B agents are zoonotic Zoonotic means that the biological agent can be easily transmitted between animals and humans Zoonotic means that the biological agent can be easily transmitted between animals and humans

13 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM CDC Category A List Includes high-priority agents that pose a risk to national security because they: –Can be easily disseminated or transmitted from person to person –Result in high mortality rates and have the potential for major public health impact –Might cause public panic and social disruption –Require special action for public health preparedness

14 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM CDC Category A Agents Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) Botulism (Clostridium botulinum toxin) Botulism (Clostridium botulinum toxin) Plague (Yersinia pestis) Plague (Yersinia pestis) Smallpox (Variola major) Smallpox (Variola major) Tularemia (Francisella tularensis) Tularemia (Francisella tularensis) Viral hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, Machupo) Viral hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, Machupo) Anthrax, tularemia, plague and botulinum toxin are especially well suited for use in agroterrorism.

15 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM CDC Category B Diseases/Agents Moderately easy to disseminate Moderately easy to disseminate Result in moderate morbidity rates and low mortality rates Result in moderate morbidity rates and low mortality rates Require enhanced diagnostic capacity and disease surveillance Require enhanced diagnostic capacity and disease surveillanceExamples –Brucellosis –Salmonella, E.coli 0157, Shigella

16 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM Inhalation: Primary route for chemical and biological weapons Inhalation: Primary route for chemical and biological weapons Ingestion: consumption of contaminated food or water Ingestion: consumption of contaminated food or water Absorption: Absorbed through the skin and/ or the eyes Absorption: Absorbed through the skin and/ or the eyes Injection: Either via a needle or by an insect Injection: Either via a needle or by an insect WMD Routes of Exposure

17 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM WMD Methods of Dissemination Biological and chemical WMD can be disseminated through various routes including: –Spraying devices –Bursting or exploding devices –Fomites –Vectors

18 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM Chemical Agents Nerve gas Pesticides Dioxins, furans and PCBs Blood agents (not in plants) Blister agents Heavy metals Volatile toxins Pulmonary agents Corrosive industrial acids and bases Incapacitating agents Explosive-nitro compounds Flammable industrial gases & liquids

19 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM FMD poses a great concern in terms of agroterrorism, as it is easily obtainable, highly infectious and easily dispersed. FMD does not pose a significant human health concern, but would cause a serious economic impact if an outbreak occurred in this country. Other likely impacts would be psychological and emotional. Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

20 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM 50,000 gallons of milk Btox-A Holding Tank at Dairy Transport to Processing Plant Btox/ml milk Assuming 5 LD50 to kill 100% (toxic dose 1ng /kg-bw) 70 kg person need only drink 175 ml for lethal dose. At this dose, this milk-delivery would 1.2 million lethal doses provide over 1.2 million lethal doses Btox is accumulative---so lethal dose could be taken in over several days. PUBLIC HEALTH HARM INFRASTRUCTURAL DAMAGE EXAMPLE: Highly Infectious Animal Disease – Foot & Mouth Disease Costs of FMD in Southern California range from $4.3 billion - $13.5 billion FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE (FMD)

21 Emergency Responder Sensitive UNDERSTANDING THE DANGERS OF AGROTERRORISM Example: Highly concentrated and large feedlots, e.g. 1.8% of feedlots produce 90.2% of cattle Large-Scale Contamination or Exposure


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