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Farmers and law enforcement spar over whether 'agroterrorism' is a real threat

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agroterrorism cattle farm
agroterrorism cattle farm

If you haven't heard of agroterrorism, you're not alone — many farmers haven't even heard of it. According to an FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin by Dean Olson, M.A., agroterrorism is “the deliberate introduction of an animal or plant disease for the purpose of generating fear, causing economic losses, or undermining social stability.” In the past 50 years, there have been a only handful of agroterrorism incidents, but a disturbing discovery by the US Navy SEALs sparked some recent concern in 2002: they stumbled on an Al Qaeda storehouse in Afghanistan filled with documents about the US food supply and how to attack it with the most devastating livestock pathogens. Yet since then, no acts of agroterrorism have been carried out, or even attempted, on US soil.

Despite solid evidence, politicians are in a frenzy about agroterrorism. In 2011, US Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) vehemently said, “This threat is not an ‘if’ but a ‘when.’” Read the report on what the US is doing about the threat — and why some farmers and academics are up in arms about it — on Modern Farmer.