Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Containing and Preventing Biological Threats

By Jeffrey R. Ryan and Jan F. Glarum; Reviewed by Deborah L. Allen, CPP

***** Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Containing and Preventing Biological Threats. By Jeffrey R. Ryan and Jan F. Glarum; published by Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann; available from ASIS, item #1787, 703/519-6200 (phone), (Web); 326 pages; $70 (ASIS members), $77 (nonmembers).

This work provides a thorough, general reference for all audiences on the major biosecurity concerns of the day. The authors start with the basic science of communicable disease, then move on to the history of biological warfare and bioterrorism, followed by the threat of agroterrorism and current biodefense initiatives.

A chronology of biological attacks targeting crops and livestock during the 20th Century is followed by discussions of the use of plant pathogens as a weapon, biosecurity from field to fork, and the response to animal disease outbreaks, with lessons learned. The book provides a succinct review of initiatives and programs, including both public law and presidential directives related to bioterrorism. There is also a description of response at the federal, state, and local level, including recovery and mitigation for biosecurity.

In addition to domestic threats, the authors address foreign animal diseases relative to the United States as well as from the international perspective of the Paris-based Office International des Epizooties (World Organization for Animal Health).

The authors’ statement of objectives, plus the use of examples, charts, tables, photographs, and discussion questions aid understanding of the subject matter. Essential terminology at the end of each chapter summarizes concepts concisely. Detailed case studies both domestic and international demonstrate the depth, breadth, and scope of issues surrounding response to, recovery from, and mitigation of bioterror events. The book’s discussion of the biological threat to agriculture underscores the importance of protecting this as a critical infrastructure sector.

Web sites, references, and suggested readings provide alternative sources of additional information for the reader who is seeking more detail related to biosecurity, bioterrorism, and biodefense.

As a review and reference for those potentially affected by bioterrorism issues, or for those interested in expanding their reference material related to bioterrorism issues, this book is both a current and worthwhile addition to a security professional’s library.

Reviewer: Deborah L. Allen, CPP, is director of product stewardship and security for PotashCorp. She chairs the Fertilizer Institute’s Security Task Force, serves as an industry liaison for the American Association of Plant Food Control Officials’ security subcommittee, and is vice chair of the ASIS Agriculture and Food Security Council.



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