Entomological Warfare - Bioterrorism


Clemson University's Regulatory and Public Service Program listed "diseases vectored by insects" among bioterrorism scenarios considered "most likely". Because invasive species are already a problem worldwide one University of Nebraska entomologist considered it likely that the source of any sudden appearance of a new agricultural pest would be difficult, if not impossible, to determine. Lockwood considers insects a more effective means of transmitting biological agents for acts of bioterrorism than the actual agents. Insect vectors are easily gathered and their eggs easily transportable without detection. Isolating and delivering biological agents, on the other hand, is extremely challenging and hazardous.

In one of the few suspected acts of entomological bioterrorism an eco-terror group known as The Breeders claimed to have released Mediterranean fruit flies (medflies) amidst an ongoing California infestation. Lockwood asserts that there is some evidence the group played a role in the event. The pest attacks a variety of crops and the state of California responded with a large-scale pesticide spraying program. At least one source asserted that there is no doubt that an outside hand played a role in the dense 1989 infestation. The group stated in a letter to then Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley that their goals were twofold. They sought to cause the medfly infestation to grow out of control which, in turn, would render the ongoing Malathion spraying program financially infeasible.

Read more about this topic:  Entomological Warfare

Other articles related to "bioterrorism":

Mary Theresa Urbano - Definition
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