Legal Sciences in the New Millennium
Bioterrorism a Threat on Public Health and Food Safety
Răzvan Adrian Florescu1
Abstract: This article tackles a subject related to the field of public order and national safety, since it focuses
on realities and perspective of the current security environment, from the perspective of the impact of
bioterrorism on public health and order. With the beginning of this century, security has turned more and more
into an extended concept and, at the same time into a securit y of synthesis, defined as a concept of complex
integration, namely at a state, regional and global level, by the more and more powerful, evident and necessary
multitude of interdependencies. The current world situation is extremely favorable to the spread of contagious
diseases by means of agro-food products, taking into account the demographic explosion and the geopolitics of
food in the last century. The set in of new diseases or reoccurrence of older ones, deemed eradicated, suggest
that in the future we might face a recrudescence of infectious diseases of an epidemic or food nature, that is
with possible bioterrorist or bio-security attacks.
Keywords: bioterrorism; security; food; health; weapon
1. Bioterrorism and Public Health
Health plays a central part in people's life and it should be supported by efficient measures and policies
in the member states, at the level of the European Community (EC) and worldwide.
The member states have the main responsibility for the policy in the field of health and the delivery of
medical assistance services to the European citizens. The role of EC is to reflect or double their activity.
However, there are certain fields in which the member states cannot act efficiently in an independent
manner and in which the common action at the level of the Community is a must. Among these, one can
list the major threats against health and the trans-border or international issues, such as epidemics and
bioterrorism, as well as those related to the free circulation of goods, services and people2.
Along the history, natural (epidemics) of infectious diseases have caused many more fatalities than wars:
almost one quarter of Europe’s population (approximately 25 million) died during the plague epidemics
(bubonic plague) in the 14th century (Gostin, 2002).
A recently declassified report in the USA, issued by National Intelligence Council for the Central
Inteligence Agency (CIA), concludes that “infectious diseases are not only a public health issue, but
also a national security one” (Cavon, 2000), the population of the United States being vulnerable both
to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (4).
1 PhD in progress, Police Academy Al. I. Cuza, Doctoral School of Public Order and National Security, Bucharest, Romania,
Address: 1-3 Privighetorilor Aleea, Bucharest, 014031, Tel.: 0040726743310, Corresponding author: