This paper examines and compares, in historical context, the expansion of governmental authority in response to threats of bioterrorism, one of which is aimed directly at people, the other of which is aimed directly at agribusiness. The examination reveals that there is a historical, natural tendency of the executive branch to expand its powers and that the legislative and judicial branches tend to defer to the executive branch during emergencies. The comparison reveals that, although there is such a natural attempt by the executive branch to expand its powers, such expansion has yielded more to concerns over individual rights and liberties than it has to concerns over actual and potential costs to commerce. This difference can be explained by the much greater constitutional authority that the federal government enjoys over commercial activity. A review of the literature reveals that, as a result, the expansion and consolidation of executive powers due to concerns over WMD attacks, bioterrorist and agroterrorist attacks in particular, has been considerable. The measures taken have tended to respect the limits of governmental power vis-à-vis individual freedoms, rights and privacy, whereas agribusiness stands to sustain considerable losses, due to governmental action in response to an actual or suspected agroterrorist attack.
- civil rights,
- weapons of mass destruction
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/samuel_bettwy/8/