Officials Worried About Al Quaeda Attack
By George Anderson
Government officials are worried may al Quaeda change tactics and look to take advantage of so-called soft targets such as the food supply.
Lawrence Dyckman, head of the natural resources and environment section of the U.S. General Accounting Office told Reuters, The food supply is at risk. This is not an
idle threat. The way we produce things makes it somewhat easy for a terrorist to infiltrate our food supply, whether it’s live animals or the manufacturing process. So this is
a real issue. This is not a hypothetical situation.”
Maureen McCarthy, the head of research and development at the Department of Homeland Security’s science and technology unit said, “What scares us, what keeps us up at night,
is not that I expect to see al Qaeda coming over the beaches. What keeps me up at night is that foreign animal diseases are all over the world.”
Carol Tucker Foreman, a former assistant secretary of agriculture said, “It would be relatively easy to adulterate a particular food, kill or sicken a few dozen people, create
a public panic in the U.S., cause other countries to shut down imports from the U.S. and do long-term damage to our food exporting businesses.”
According to Reuters, agriculture accounts for about 13 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.
Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on the concerns expressed by current and
ex-government officials about the safety of the food supply and the possible consequences of a terrorist attack? – George
Anderson – Moderator