Blocking out bioterrorism

Published: Thursday 31 October 2002

Biological agents, which can be used to harm crops or livestock, pose a potential threat to the agriculture sector in the us. The country needs a comprehensive plan to shore up its defences against such bioterrorism, states a new report of the National Academies' National Research Council (nrc). The document warns that such a large-scale attack would damage laboratory and field resources. The report points out that agricultural bioterrorism could harm people and disrupt economy. It says that the us government should develop potential attack scenarios to help train health and agricultural professionals on how to respond to a disease outbreak. The committee recommends building upon the us department of agriculture's current emergency plans to cope with the unintentional introduction of pests and pathogens.

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