Local News

UNC Professor: Next Terrorist Target Could Be USA's Food Supply

Posted October 24, 2001 3:51 a.m. EDT

— A bioterrorism seminar sponsored by UNC's School of Journalism and Mass Communication suggested that when it comes to preparing for terrorism, sometimes it helps to think like a terrorist.

Dr. Robin Ryder, a professor of epidemiology at UNC, was one of the law enforcement and public health experts who spoke.

Ryder believes the next major terrorist target in this country will be our food supply. He said all the mass-produced, pre-packaged foods we eat make us vulnerable to intentionally-planted pathogens that could make large numbers of people sick.

"When there's a compromise in something that's produced so widely and so massively, the mistakes we make and those kinds of things do lend themselves to foul play in the food supply," he said.

Ryder said Americans should not panic, but he thinks it is time we re-evaluate food safety.