1. Robert S. Root-Bernstein, "Infectious Terrorism," Atlantic Monthly (May 1991): 44-50.

2. Malathion is much more readily detoxified by humans than by insects, and this differential susceptibility allows the insecticide to be used at rates that kill pests without being proportionately dangerous to mammals. The lethal dose for an adult human would be about 1 xh cups of malathion. Lower doses may suppress the immune system and cause developmental and reproductive abnormalities. By comparison, a closely related compound, para-thion, is deadly enough to have become the weapon of choice for assassins operating within South Africa's apartheid government. After breaking into a residence, a killer would smear the insecticide onto the victim's underwear. The chemical could then enter the body through large hair follicles under the arms and in the crotch; Tom Mangold and Jeff Goldberg, Plague Wars: The Terrifying Reality of Biological Warfare (New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 1999), chap. 23.

3. Stephanie Chavez and Richard Simon, "Mystery Letter Puts a Strange Twist on Latest Medfly Crisis," Los Angeles Times (Orange County Edition; December 3,1988): Bi.

4. Copy of the letter obtained by the author via a FOIA request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General.

5. Interview with author, October i3, 2004.

6. Copy of the report obtained by the author via a FOIA request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General.

7. Chavez and Simon, "Mystery Letter."

8. John Johnson, "Female Medfly Found in Sun Valley Close to Area Targeted Earlier," Los Angeles Times (January 4, 1990): B3.

9. Ashley Dunn, "Officials Advertise to Contact Group Claiming Medfly Releases," Los Angeles Times (February 10,1990): A13.

10. From the report obtained by the author via a FOIA request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General.

12. Dunn, "Officials Advertise to Contact Group."

13. Jason Pate and Gavin Cameron, "Covert Biological Weapons Attacks Against Agricultural Targets: Assessing the Impact Against U.S. Agriculture," Discussion Paper 2001-9, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (200i), p. ii.

14. Author interview with James Reynolds, October 21, 2004.

15. Author interview with Pat Minyard, October 13, 2004.

16. Not everyone is as certain that the U.S. agricultural sector has avoided foreign terrorists. The sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) arrived in the Imperial Valley in the summer of 1991 and destroyed $300 million worth of crops. Most experts believe that the whitefly was accidentally introduced. However, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Kadlec (a former member of the U.S. delegation to the Biological Weapons Convention and inspector with the United Nations Special Commission to Iraq) has called attention to this particular strain's geographic origin (Asia or Africa), unusually broad host range, remarkable resistance to insecticides, and extraordinarily voracious feeding (combined with the capacity to transmit plant diseases)—all being consistent with a clandestine attack; Robert P. Kadlec, "Biological Weapons for Waging Economic Warfare," in Battlefield of the Future, ed. Barry R. Schneider and Lawrence E. Grinter, Air War College Studies in National Security, vol. 3 (Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, 1995), chap. 10, available at

17. Faith Lapidus, "Could Insects Be Used as Instruments of Biological Warfare?" Voice of America, January 29, 2003, available from World News Web site,

18. Nicholas J. Neger, "The Need for a Coordinated Response to Food Terrorism," in Food and Agricultural Security Special Issue, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 894 (1999).

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