FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, August 01, 2005

Modeling an Attack on the Food Supply

Researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business have modeled the effects of a bioterror attack on the nation's food supply. Their results are disquieting at best: Only four grams of botulinum toxin dropped into a milk tanker could infect and possibly kill up to 400,000 people.

Botulinum toxin is the most deadly toxic substance known, with only a millionth of a gram needed to kill an adult human. The calculations were done using mathematical models of the distribution of the milk supply.

The good news from the study is that security, testing and early warning systems could be implemented that would raise the price of milk by only 1 cent per gallon. The National Academy of Sciences has suggested that the study be used as an example of further research into homeland security measures.

Source: FuturePundit