Terrorism is a common word in our society and for many brings forth visions of suicide bombardments in the Middle East, a destroyed federal edifice in Oklahoma, a fiery Pentagon in Washington DC, and planes crashing into towers in New York City. While these types of Acts of the Apostless are slightly unconventional, they have become the face of terrorist act in modern times. Bombs, planes, trucks, and even persons have become known as common arms of terrorist act. But what approximately something every bit simple as nutrient: can it be used as a arm by terrorists and how do we forestall such an assault? This paper presents illustrations of nutrient terrorist act and preventative steps that help halt or cut down the likeliness of a terrorist onslaught on our nutrient supply.
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
The Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI ) describes terrorist act as “the improper usage of force and force against individuals or belongings to intimidate or hale a authorities, the civilian population, or any section thereof, in promotion of political or societal objectives” ( General Functions, 2008 ) . This description for many brings forth visions of suicide bombardments in the Middle East, a destroyed federal edifice in Oklahoma, a fiery Pentagon in Washington DC, and planes crashing into towers in New York City. While these types of Acts of the Apostless are slightly unconventional, they have become the face of terrorist act in modern times. Bombs, planes, trucks, and even persons have become known as common arms of terrorist act. But what approximately something every bit simple as nutrient: can it be used as a arm by terrorists and how do we forestall such an assault?
Deliberate Acts of the Apostless of nutrient sabotage by a assortment of methods have been documented throughout history. For illustration, the common usage of nutrient and vino for the intent of blackwash brought about the demand for swayers to enlist the services of taste testers every bit good as undercover agents for the kitchen. The chief regulation at an imperial feast was to eat merely from a dish which had carefully been tasted beforehand. Timess have surely changed since so and the U.S soon enjoys one of the safest nutrient supplies in the universe, but it is still vulnerable to a terrorist onslaught. The fact is that polluting the nutrient supply does non necessitate much accomplishment and the chances for entree to the nutrient supply are legion. Sing that the nutrient industry histories for 20 per centum of the gross national merchandise and employs 14 million people straight and another 4 million in related industries ( Thomas and Earl, 1994 ) , it is easy to understand the exposure of the nutrient supply. Entree to the nutrient supply could happen at any figure of entree points including harvest home, wadding, transportation, bringing, or readying. This means that nutrient is susceptible for deliberate taint anyplace from the farm all the manner to your fork.
There are many possible agents for nutrient sabotage that have assorted features. Such agents include biological agents, chemical agents, radiological agents, and physical agents. Biological agents include but are non limited to bacteriums, toxins, viruses, and parasites. Biological agents can be delivered in the signifier of liquids, aerosols, or solids. Chemical agents are classified as chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals. Chemical warfare agents include nerve agents, blister agents, blood agents, and choking agents. Toxic industrial chemicals include pesticides, rodenticides, insect powders, and heavy metals. Chemical agents can be delivered as airborne droplets, liquids, aerosols, or solids. Radiological agents are radioactive elements that can be delivered in liquid or solid signifier. Physical agents are stuffs that could do injury if eaten. Examples of physical agents are bone splinters, glass fragments, and metal filings.
These possible agents can be used to function different intents and supply a assortment of possible results. Certain pathogens and toxicants when applied can kill or temporarily disenable a community. Character assassination for illustration could be carried out by intentionally polluting nutrient with botulinus toxin, nitrile, aflatoxins, mushrooms, puffer fish, ricin, saxitoxin, or microcystins. Break of a community could happen through debut of a diarrhoeal disease utilizing such agents as salmonella, campylobacter, vibrio cholera, cryptosporidia, giardia, calicivirus, shigella, or E. coli. While an eruption of diarrhoea may non look like a ruinous event to some, it can make fright through the illustration of exposure and can surely hold economic effects as consumers refuse to eat or buy fishy nutrients ( Lee et al. , 2003 ) . Specific illustrations of deliberate nutrient sabotage, the agents used, and their results are presented below.
Parasites are a type of agent that can be used by terrorists to intentionally pollute nutrient. Parasites are found throughout the environment and scope in size from bantam, one-celled beings to worms seeable to the bare oculus. Several parasites have emerged as important causes of foodborne disease. The unwellnesss they can do scope from mild uncomfortableness to enfeebling unwellness and perchance even decease. In 1970, a postgraduate pupil in Canada intentionally contaminated his roomies ‘ nutrient with the parasite Ascaris suum. This calculated act of nutrient sabotage resulted in four people going earnestly sick, with two victims enduring acute respiratory failure.
Heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, and quicksilver have besides been identified as possible agents for a terrorist onslaught on the nutrient supply. For illustration, exposure to arsenic can take to assorted symptoms including desiccation, diarrhoea, liver failure, musculus spasms, trouble of address, nephritic failure, tummy strivings, complaints of the bosom, kidney and lung, coma, and even decease. In 2003, 16 members of the Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church in New Sweden, Maine, became sick following the church java hr, with one member go throughing off a short clip subsequently. An probe of the event revealed that the java had been intentionally laced with arsenic. Another heavy metal that has been used as a arm in nutrient is quicksilver. In 1978, 12 kids in Holland and West Germany were hospitalized due to citrus fruit imported from Israel that was intentionally contaminated with quicksilver ( Kahn et al. , 2001 ) .
The most common cause of foodborne unwellnesss are bacteriums and the toxins produced by certain bacteriums. While most foodborne unwellnesss caused by bacteriums are non-intentional, bacterial agents can surely be used as a arm in nutrient by terrorist. Bacteria can distribute easy and quickly, necessitating merely nutriment, wet, a favourable temperature, and clip to multiply. In 1984, the members of a spiritual cult intentionally contaminated salad bars in Oregon with Salmonella typhimurium in order to disrupt a local election. This incident caused 751 instances of salmonellosis and resulted in the hospitalization of 45 of the victims ( Christopher et al. , 1997 ) . The FBI subsequently discovered that the deliberate act of nutrient sabotage was merely a pattern tally for a planned hereafter onslaught utilizing S. Typhi, which would hold resulted in important disease and perchance decease ( Torok et al. , 1997 ) . In 1996, a displeased research lab worker intentionally infected nutrient to be consumed by colleagues with Shigella dysenteria type 2. This caused 12 people to go sick, with four of the victims holding to be hospitalized. In 2008, possible nutrient sabotage occurred at the central office of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise go forthing 140 people ill. A group has claimed duty for polluting the nutrient in the cafeteria with Shigella dysenteriae. This is a type of bacteriums that causes dysentery. Symptoms of dysentery include diarrhoea and emesis. Other types of bacteriums associated with foodborne unwellness include Bacillus Cereuss, Botulism, Campylobacter jejuni, Clostridium perfringens, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Yersinia enterocolitica.
Rodenticides, pesticides, insect powders, and other chemicals can all be used to intentionally pollute nutrient. Cyanide for illustration can be made from workss in really little sums. It can be a gas, liquid or pulverization and is a deathly and fast-acting toxicant. It prevents the organic structure from utilizing O and therefore is harmful to the bosom and encephalon. Cyanide can be used as a terrorist arm if it is dumped into H2O, sprayed as a gas, or set into nutrient. In 1977, two Nipponese high school pupils died after holding picked up a can of sodium carbonate laced with nitrile in a telephone booth and devouring it. In 1998, four people died at a festival in Japan after eating curry laced with nitrile. Research workers believe that the nitrile was intentionally introduced to the curry. In several instances of attempted extortion, nitrile has been found injected into nutrients such as cocoa. In 1989, two grapes injected with nitrile were imported into the United States from Chile. Fortunately, the culprit contacted the U.S. Embassy warning of the taint which allowed agricultural inspectors to happen the grapes before they were consumed. In 2001, the proprietors of a noodle mill in China intentionally contaminated their nutrient with rat toxicant, doing 120 people to go sick. In 2002, about 40 people died and more than 200 were hospitalized in China after the proprietor of a fast-food mercantile establishment poisoned a rival ‘s breakfast nutrients with rat toxicant. In 2003, a U.S. supermarket employee intentionally contaminated 200 lbs of land beef with an insect powder incorporating nicotine, ensuing in 111 people acquiring ill from the corrupt meat, including 40 kids ( CDC, 2003 ) .
The old illustrations provide the realisation that nutrient sabotage can be carried out easy and ensue in serious injury. In add-on to the above events, a figure of conceived secret plans have been discovered that relate to the calculated taint of the nutrient supply. For illustration, in 2003, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency ( CIA ) reported that it was look intoing whether one of Al Qaeda ‘s prima experts in chemical and biological warfare was involved in a secret plan to pollute nutrient intended for British military personnels. The probe resulted from the find of ricin in a London flat linked to suspected activists, one of whom worked for a nutrient catering company. The suspects were believed to hold been in contact with people who worked on at least one British military base ( Risen and Van Natta, 2003 ) . In that same twelvemonth, the FBI issued a bulletin warning that terrorists might utilize two of course happening toxins, nicotine and solanine, to poison U.S. nutrient or H2O supplies. The FBI noted that terrorist manuals and paperss recovered in Afghanistan refer to the usage of these substances as toxicants ( Anderson, 2003 ) .
These anterior Acts of the Apostless of nutrient sabotage and spoiled secret plans hold given rise to concerns about the menace of onslaughts on the nutrient supply. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) ( 2003 ) has noted that:
The World Health Organization ( WHO ) has warned that the malicious taint of nutrient for terrorist intents is a existent and current menace ( WHO, 2002 ) . The Center for Disease Control ‘s ( CDC ) infective disease experts have concluded that sabotage of nutrient and H2O is the easiest agencies of biological or chemical onslaught mostly because such onslaughts have been successful in the yesteryear ( Khan, 2001 ) . In add-on, the CDC experts explain, the comparative centralisation of nutrient production in the U.S. and the planetary distribution of nutrient merchandises give nutrient a alone susceptibleness, and many points of exposure to undermine intended to impact a big figure of people exist in the nutrient production and nutrient distribution processes ( CDC, 2000 ) . ( see Section C, 5th paragraph )
Further, the 2007 World Health Report identified calculated taint of nutrient as one of the major planetary wellness menaces in the twenty-first century. It is clear by the above statements that major planetary bureaus and organisations realize the potency for a terrorist onslaught on the nutrient supply.
Recognizing that calculated taint of nutrient by terrorists is a possible menace, both planetary organisations and U.S. bureaus have developed specific counsel to turn to the issue of nutrient terrorist act. These counsel paperss provide practical stairss and processs to both halt and cut down the menace of nutrient terrorist act. Since the above events happened on a planetary graduated table, an overview of a part of the counsel papers prepared by WHO ( 2008 ) that addresses nutrient safety and security is presented in this paper. This papers provides insight into readiness schemes, exigency planning and appraisal of jeopardies, and usage of available resources. It is a practical usher to assist extenuate and pull off the possible catastrophe associated with nutrient terrorist act.
WHO published Terrorist Threats to Food: Guidance for Establishing and Strengthening Prevention and Response Systems in 2008 to supply all Member States with the followers:
This papers provides counsel to Member States for incorporating consideration of calculated Acts of the Apostless of nutrient sabotage into bing programmes intended for guaranting the safe production of nutrient. It besides provides counsel on beef uping bing catching disease control and bar systems to guarantee that surveillance, readiness and response systems are sufficiently rapid and sensitive to run into the menace of nutrient terrorist act. ( p.1 )
As stated above, the papers provides counsel for four indispensable elements which include bar, surveillance, readiness, and response. Of these four indispensable elements, bar is the first and possibly the most of import measure in cut downing the likeliness of a terrorist onslaught on the nutrient supply. Benjamin Franklin surely understood the importance of bar and is quoted as stating, “an ounce of bar is worth a lb of cure.” This ideal has been recognized by authoritiess world-wide and is being implemented into nutrient safety plans to guarantee that consciousness and proper precautions are established at each critical entree point in the nutrient distribution system. The WHO ( 2008 ) counsel papers provides utile bar techniques and specific preventative steps that can be used to halt and cut down the likeliness of nutrient sabotage.
Acknowledging that bar is the most preferred option when sing calculated Acts of the Apostless of nutrient terrorist act, specific preventative steps have been developed and identified. This is of import since nutrient is available for calculated taint from the farm all the manner to your fork. The preventative steps need to be implemented at all possible entree points of the nutrient distribution system including production, processing, distribution, and readying. Prevention of nutrient terrorist act does non ever necessitate up-to-date engineering or come with a high monetary value ticket but is critical for cut downing the likeliness and impact of nutrient sabotage. The undermentioned bar techniques and suggested precautions are presented by WHO ( 2008 ) and are considered effectual ways to assist queer consider nutrient taint.
Hazard analysis is an of import bar tool that helps measure the exposure of nutrient distribution systems. The same methodological analysis that has been applied to measure the hazard of accidental taint can be used to measure nutrient safety in respect to the deliberate act of nutrient sabotage. As with all hazard analysis, the resources allocated demand to be relative to the likeliness of the menace, the magnitude and badness of the effects, and the exposure of the specific entree point. In other words, clip and resources should non be spent on analysing the hazard of improbable scenarios that will hold small impact. For illustration, hazard should be analyzed at each possible entree point of the nutrient distribution system but should besides see country-specific information, such as the handiness of risky agents. Each possible entree point in the nutrient distribution system should be carefully considered with specific attending being given to exposure to undermine, chance for the debut of an agent, and capacity to supervise calculated taint and to follow and remember fishy nutrient merchandises. Understanding the relationships between the production system, ingredients, people, utensils, equipment, and machinery can assist in placing where critical failures of the system might happen ( WHO, 2008, p. 13 ) . WHO besides recommends including hazard analysis and critical control point ( HACCP ) in nutrient safety direction plans. HACCP is a systematic attack used in the designation, rating, and control of important nutrient safety jeopardies. Hazard analysis is a cardinal component in bar because it helps concentrate attempts and resources on the most of import and likely menaces to the nutrient distribution system.
The authorities can be an of import tool in bar by assisting hinder nutrient terrorist act through the development and/or beef uping of nutrient safety direction plans. The authorities should work with the nutrient industry to assist them acknowledge the possible menace of nutrient terrorist act and assist integrate precautions into bing nutrient safety direction plans. If a state does non hold a nutrient safety substructure already in topographic point, the authorities must assist develop and transfuse basic nutrient safety direction rules in the nutrient industry. WHO ( 2008 ) recommends that the undermentioned generic actions be taken by the authorities to help the nutrient industry:
Collaborating with industry to develop protocols for measuring the exposure of single nutrient concerns, including appraisals of the site, security and forces, and possible ways in which nutrient might be contaminated maliciously ; guaranting that nutrient safety is addressed and controls are coordinated at all points in the food-chain, including traceability and callback ; collaborating with industry to beef up the security of procedures, people and merchandises ; supplying industry with information on known or possible risky agents ; collaborating with industry to develop, implement, reappraisal and trial crisis direction programs ; and organizing closely with industry in pass oning with the populace. ( p. 13 )
These generic actions provide an avenue for the authorities to increase the consciousness of the potency for nutrient terrorist act and work with the nutrient industry to guarantee a safe nutrient supply. Without the aid and sometimes force per unit area of the authorities, many states would be unable and unwilling to develop and keep equal nutrient safety direction plans. Therefore, it is critical that authoritiess throughout the universe provide the necessary counsel and resources to assist cut down the likeliness of nutrient sabotage. Without equal nutrient safety direction plans in topographic point throughout the universe, our nutrient supply is in hazard of a terrorist onslaught and the effects could be felt far and broad.
While the authorities should play a function in nutrient safety, the ability to forestall nutrient terrorist act lies chiefly on the shoulders of the nutrient industry. The nutrient industry can take a proactive attack in bar by developing thorough nutrient safety direction plans that consider sabotage throughout the full nutrient distribution system. This system includes but is non limited to farms, processing workss, markets, distribution centres, nutrient constitutions, etc. Often, it is the points of entry in the nutrient distribution system where nutrient alterations hands that are the most vulnerable to nutrient sabotage. The chance for deliberate taint is likely to increase as the point of taint nears the points of production and distribution. However, it should be noted that the potency for the greatest opportunity of disease and decease normally increases as the agent is introduced closer to the point of ingestion.
One obvious measure that can be taken at all possible entree points in the nutrient distribution system that decreases the likeliness of nutrient sabotage is security of people and premises. All sections of the nutrient distribution system should see the development of security and response programs that meet the demands of possible menaces. Sections of the nutrient distribution system that might necessitate particular security consideration include beginnings of natural stuffs, storage installations, conveyance systems, and critical countries in production and processing. Security steps should include pre-hiring showing for all employees, including seasonal, impermanent, and contract workers. Pre-hire showing should besides be considered for sanitation, care, and review workers because they could hold entree to critical countries. Pre-hire showing should include anterior work mentions, background cheques, and drug testing. Screening ensures that the employee has specific makings and the background to transport out their duties. Employees should besides be issued photo designation badges with alone designation Numberss. New employees should be placed on twenty-four hours displacements during the initial probation period where increased inadvertence is employed. All staff in the nutrient industry should be trained and encouraged to describe leery behaviour and activities to the appropriate governments. These basic security steps help cut down the exposure to critical entree points and can be utilized at any phase in the nutrient distribution system.
As antecedently mentioned, bar should be implemented from the farm all the manner to your fork. Agricultural production and harvest home is one of the get downing points in the nutrient distribution system. Agricultural production countries are assorted and scope from little rural farms, to big commercial farms, to feedlots. With the increased consciousness of nutrient sabotage, recent accent has been placed on the agricultural sector to advance good agricultural patterns in respect to nutrient safety. Agricultural production countries are vulnerable to undermine and hold really few critical points for sensing and remotion of taint. Many fruits and veggies are consumed straight with small processing and past incidents of non-intentional taint have shown the exposure and possible impact of such trade goods. Two critical patterns used in agribusiness are the application of pesticides and the usage of H2O for irrigation. Therefore, particular attending should be paid to the possible permutation of pesticides with more toxic agents and the taint of irrigation H2O. There are many good agricultural nutrient safety patterns that help cut down the likeliness of nutrient sabotage. Everyday reviews of nutrient merchandises to find divergences from normal features help to bespeak that taint has occurred. Leaving nutrient merchandises in unprotected environments should be limited, this includes alfresco drying. Controling entree to and monitoring of agricultural production countries should be considered every bit good as procuring beginnings of natural stuffs. Basic security steps such as fence, supplying locks, and the light of edifice outsides and exterior sites are all ways to safeguard safety sensitive countries. Another bar technique that can be used in agribusiness is trying and analysis of certain finished merchandises. This helps cut down the likeliness that merchandises go forthing the farm have been intentionally contaminated. The point of debut of natural stuffs in the processing watercourse is a critical point in the nutrient distribution system and therefore bar is a must to guarantee the safety of the nutrient supply.
Another critical entree point in the nutrient distribution system where preventative steps should be implemented is treating and fabrication. This section in the nutrient distribution system becomes particularly vulnerable when it is non covered by a nutrient safety direction plan. Therefore, preventative steps should be carefully outlined and implemented to cut down hazard of nutrient sabotage. Basic external security steps include the add-on of fencings, cameras, gesture sensing devices and guarded doors. Additional external security steps include posting “no trespassing” marks, guaranting issue doors have dismaies and are self-locking so that they can merely be opened from the interior, and monitoring and documenting forces come ining and go forthing the works. Inside security steps that can be implemented include taging and procuring restricted countries, restricting entree to labs and curtailing entree to cardinal air flow, H2O, electricity, and gas controls. Emergency watchful systems at installations should be operational at all times and all employees should be trained how to run them. Computer systems must hold effectual watchword, virus, and firewall protection and airflow systems should be designed so that contaminated suites or countries can be easy isolated. Personal points, such as tiffin containers, might hold to be prohibited from critical countries and attempts should be made to extinguish possible concealment topographic points within installations where a contaminating agent could be temporarily placed before debut. Besides, countries should be identified where employees mix or batch merchandises or ingredients by themselves without supervising. Controls should be developed and put in topographic point in the identified countries to forestall meddling by an employee.
Even storage installations and conveyance containers can go possible entree points in the nutrient distribution system when they are non decently safeguarded. Storage installations and conveyance containers come in all forms and sizes. For illustration natural agricultural trade goods can be stored in the unfastened air, big lifts, and refrigerated containers. The agencies of conveyance of nutrient merchandises besides vary and range from all types of vehicles to big ocean-going vass. While the scope is considerable, there are some basic bar techniques that can be used to cut down the likeliness of nutrient sabotage at storage installations and during conveyance. Physical steps including fence and locks are basic ways to assist secure and prevent unauthorised entree to storage installations and conveyance containers. These physical steps can be supplemented with security forces, invasion sensors, dismaies, unmanned telecasting surveillance, and tamper-resistant and/or tamper-evident packaging. In footings of conveyance, merely those companies that can show that they have appropriate nutrient safety controls in topographic point should be used. Further, it should be required that conveyance companies conduct background cheques on drivers and other employees with entree to nutrient. Conveyance companies should be willing and able to bring forth such certification when requested. Food safety direction plans should ever implement as a regulation that all returned cargos be exhaustively examined by qualifies forces before reshipment and that any transportation seals match the transportation documents. A good manner to guarantee that the preventative steps put into topographic point at storage installations and during conveyance is to execute random reviews that test the effectivity of the current security processs.
Sweeping and retail distribution is another of import possible entree point in the nutrient distribution system. The usage of tamper-resistant and tamper-evident containers is one time once more a utile step in cut downing deliberate nutrient taint. However, even tamper-resistant and tamper-evident containers can be penetrated by a well-trained terrorist. Therefore, typical security steps such as controlled entree and surveillance cameras should be considered to decrease exposure. Pre-packaged stuffs can assist in forestalling nutrient sabotage and both sweeping and retail directors should ever utilize dependable providers that have a good path record of nutrient safety. Recently, there has been an increased consciousness of forging nutrient. This is a pattern where sub-standard nutrient merchandises are substituted for merchandises of greater value to increase net income. Counterfeiting has the potency for calculated taint of the nutrient supply by replacing normal ingredients with ingredients contaminated with toxic chemicals. Therefore, purchasers need to be mistrustful about buying nutrient under leery fortunes which include purchasing nutrient merchandises outside normal distribution channels at decreased monetary values. Buyers besides need to be trained to place and describe any leery activities to the appropriate governments so that they can carry on a proper probe.
Examples of calculated taint of nutrient at nutrient service operations have already been presented. Opportunities for sabotage in nutrient service operations are legion and include nutrient readying, condiments in unfastened containers, salad bars, and peddling machines to call a few. With such easy marks, particular attending should be paid to the surveillance and monitoring of all unfastened nutrient shows. In add-on, tamper-resistant and tamper-evident seals should be carefully examined before usage. Besides, staff should be trained to acknowledge the unnatural visual aspect, olfactory property, and gustatory sensation of the nutrient merchandises used in nutrient service. If there is any intuition that deliberate taint has occurred, nutrient service forces should instantly advise the provider, the appropriate public wellness bureau, and jurisprudence enforcement. Telephone Numberss for each contact should be easy accessible to nutrient service forces.
Obviously, the best manner to work out a job is to forestall it from go oning. It has been shown through existent events and spoiled secret plans that nutrient terrorist act is a true menace and possible job worldwide. U.S. bureaus and planetary organisations have recognized the possible menace of nutrient terrorist act and have developed specific counsel to halt and cut down the likeliness of nutrient sabotage. The accent in most of these paperss is bar because the ultimate end is to halt the menace before it occurs. The WHO ( 2008 ) counsel papers provides both general techniques and specific steps in the country of bar that should be considered when either updating bing nutrient safety plans or in the development of new plans within the nutrient industry. It besides brings consciousness to possible critical entree points in the nutrient distribution system where deliberate taint could happen. Past events have proven that our nutrient supply is vulnerable and that a serious menace exists. With heightened security steps being implemented in other countries such as airdromes and authorities edifices, terrorist may look for new available avenues to make fright and terror. Our nutrient supply creates an chance for terrorist to work their tactics and therefore it is important that bar is non merely considered but implemented from the farm all the manner to your fork.
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