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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Addressing biohazards to food security in primary production

Djurle, Annika; Young, Beth; Berlin, Anna; Vagsholm, Ivar; Blomstrom, Anne-Lie; Nygren, Jim; Kvarnheden, Anders

Abstract

This review addresses ways to prepare for and to mitigate effects of biohazards on primary production of crops and livestock. These biohazards can be natural or intentional introductions of pathogens, and they can cause major economic damage to farmers, the agricultural industry, society, and international trade. Agroterrorism is the intentional introduction of animal or plant pathogens into agricultural production systems with the intention to cause socioeconomic harm and generate public fear. Although few acts of agroterrorism are reported, the threat of agroterrorism in Europe is real. New concerns about threats arise from the rapid advancements in biotechnology and emerging technologies. FORSA, an analytical framework for risk and vulnerability analysis, was used to review how to prepare for and mitigate the possible effects of natural or intentional biohazards in agricultural production. Analyzing the effects of a biohazard event involves multiple scientific disciplines. A comprehensive analysis of biohazards therefore requires a systems approach. The preparedness and ability to manage events are strengthened by bolstered farm biosecurity, increased monitoring and laboratory capacity, improved inter-agency communication and resource allocation. The focus of this review is on Europe, but the insights gained have worldwide applications. The analytical framework used here is compared to other frameworks. With climate change, Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine, the supply chains are challenged, and we foresee increasing food prices associated with social tensions. Our food supply chain becomes more fragile with more unknowns, thereby increasing the needs for risk and vulnerability analyses, of which FORSA is one example.

Keywords

Agricultural biohazards; Agroterrorism; Animal diseases; Food defence; Food security; Introduced pathogens; Plant diseases

Published in

Food Security
2022, Volume: 14, number: 6, pages: 1475-1497