Module Two Food Defense & the Psychology of Terrorism. National Center for Food Protection & Defense Risk Communicator Training. Food Defense & the Psychology of Terrorism. Topic 1 Psychology of Fear & Trust Topic 2 The Food System as a Target of Attack Topic 3
National Center for Food Protection & Defense
Psychology of Fear & Trust
The Food System as a Target of Attack
Natural Disasters, Terrorism & Catastrophic Events
The Psychology of Fear & Trust
Fear & trust are two adaptive survival processes
HighAdjustment to risk
Reactions change as risk increases.
SOURCE: Peter Sandman, 2005
FrequentlyWe accept most risks well
Humans usually adapt well to risk.
SOURCE: Peter Sandman, 2005
Fear is our natural reaction in a crisis.
Fear is a useful
Let it happen!
Over-reaction is our initial reaction to a new, potentially serious risk.
SOURCE: Peter Sandman
In the 3 impacted cities:
Do NOT ‘Fear Fear’ or ‘Panic Panic’
Public’s Reaction to
Spinach – E.coli Outbreak
The Food System
as a Potential Target of Attack
the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do.”
Tommy Thompson, former HHS Secretary
December 3, 2004
on the food
- political ideologists
Anthrax, botulism, plague, smallpox, tularemia, viral hemorrhagic
Category B examples:
Brucellosis, E.coli, salmonella, ricin, Staphylococcal enterotoxin B(SEB)
Emerging pathogens that could be engineeredWeapons of Attack: Bioterrorism Diseases/Agents
SOURCE: Food Alert
751 people became ill after members of a religious cult contaminated salad bars in 10 restaurants in Oregon with Salmonella typhimurium
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
First came the stomach cramps and nausea. Next came dizziness and disorientation. It was the chills, fever, diarrhea and vomiting that finally sent them to their doctors. Nearly a thousand of them…
Terrorists phoned the U.S. embassy in Santiago and claimed to have laced all Chilean grapes with cyanide
Chilean Fruit Pulled From Shelves as U.S. Widens Inquiry on Poison
By PHILIP SHENON, SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: March 15, 1989
Three Israeli-Arabs were arrested in Jerusalem for allegedly planning a mass poisoning of Israeli patrons at a local café.Post Sept. 11, 2001 events
A China restaurateur added a chemical (rat poisoning) to a competitor’s food. 38 people died and hundreds were sent to hospitals.
Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Monday, September 30, 2002
China Sentences Rat Poison Killer to DeathPost Sept. 11, 2001 events
New Zealand Prime Minister received letter claiming Food and Mouth Disease (FMD) was introduction on Waiheke Island. Was eventually determined to be a hoax. Cost was $1.5-2 million in compensation costs to dairy farmers on island.
Rural community near urban center (Auckland)
Goal: Learn consumers priorities on spending for terrorism defense – food relative to other targets
Conducted by: The Food Industry Center, University of Minnesota & sponsored by the National Center for Food Protection and Defense in April, 2005
Sample: 4000+ adult Americans internet responses; weighted to represent population
Natural Disasters, Terrorism
and Catastrophic Incidents
FEARResponse to terrorist event
These characteristics create a different and unique emotional charge than a natural or traditional disaster.
Decision processes not understood
Lack of personal control
Children at risk
Risk to future generations
Lack of trust in relevant institutions
Much media attention
Potentially irreversible effects
Origins caused by human actions (vs. act of nature)Factors associated with increased public concern (fear)
- Covello, in NRC, 1989
Less mystery yields less fear which yields more trust
For Effective Food Defense