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Pandemic series: a bioterror attack against crops or livestock by 2020?

Although the intended target of biological weapons of war or terror is generally human, there is a history of development of bioweapons against agricultural crops or livestock going back up to a century. See This comprehensive article. As a particularly scary example, part of the Soviet Union's extensive bioweapons program was a secret division code-named "ecology" that targeted livestock by developing variants of foot-and-mouth, rinderpest, swine fever, and psittacosis to infect cows, pigs, and chickens.

The scale and effect of such attacks could easily increase in the future. As for human pathogens, agricultural or livestock-oriented pathogens might be improved by selective "breeding" or by genetic engineering (and without quite as much danger to the human scientists!) Moreover, many of todays crops and livestock are monocultures or clones with very little genetic diversity, raising the concern that a single pathogen could spread unchecked and potentially destroy an entire industry. (See for example the past and future of the banana.) Finally, modern factory farming and high-intensity agriculture make an ideal environment for a quickly spreading pathogen.

With this in mind:

By 2020 will a credible journalist or government source report that a non-human pathogen (affecting livestock or crops but not humans) has been deliberately released by a designated terror group?

For positive resolution, the report must take place after question opening time, and the release must take place at a time reasonable inferred to be not earlier than one year prior to opening time.


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