Economic Aspects of Agricultural and Food Biosecurity in the United States

David A. Hennessy
March 2007  [07-WP 444]

Download Full Text

Suggested citation:

Hennessy, D.A. 2007. "Economic Aspects of Agricultural and Food Biosecurity in the United States." Working paper 07-WP 444. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


Concerns about biosecurity in the food system raise a variety of issues about how the system is presently organized, why it might be vulnerable, what one could reasonably do to better secure it, and the costs of doing so. After presenting some facts about US agriculture and food, this paper considers three economic aspects of the general problem. One is the global problem, or the way biosecurity measures can affect how countries relate to each other and the global consequences that result. Another is how to best manage the immediate aftermath of a realized threat in order to minimize damage. The third is how to seek to prevent realization of the threat. Some policy alternatives are also presented.

Keywords: agro-terrorism, animal disease, biosecurity, epidemic, food system policy.