Protecting the Homeland
A systems approach to protecting America’s food supply and the environment by the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources
The International Center for Food Industry Excellence (ICFIE) is working in various ways to combat bioterrorism by investigating points of introduction of biological agents in feedlot (pre-harvest) and processing (post-harvest) environments.
Research in Plant and Soil Science is focused on the sorption of toxins and other toxic agents to natural and human-modified substances. Clay minerals have been identified that are sorbents of ricin, a weapon of mass destruction.
Heightened terrorist threat levels demand that first responders and emergency responders be equipped with tools such as chemical and biological protective suits and chem.-bio toxin decontamination wipes. The project supported by USDA through the International Cotton Research Center has developed a highly efficient cellulosic based protective suit liner and decon wipe.
The threat of foreign animal and zoonotic diseases is a concern among animal industries. Disaster planning for such events is the focus of work in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications. Educational materials are being developed to assist local authorities in creating emergency management plans at the county level to be used to guide responses in the event of an animal related disaster.