The 1982 Chicago Tylenol murders resulted in seven deaths and spawned an industry: the production of tamper-resistant packaging. Four years earlier mercury-injected Jaffa oranges from Israel caused short-lived panic across Europe. But 32 years later tamper-resistant oranges have yet to make it to the produce shelves.
The same populations that needed at all costs to be protected from the risk of contaminated pharmaceutical products were apparently willing to live with the risk presented by unpackaged food. The difference between the two cases seemed to have had less to do with risk assessment than with the conjunction (or lack of one) between fear and commercial opportunity.
The Government of Fear in Washington is now raising two new alarms — each with security and commercial implications that have yet to become apparent, though right now this looks like good news for McDonalds and bad news for Sizzler.
CBS News has an exclusive report on the latest terrorist plot about which the Department of Homeland Security wants to generate some fear.
The plot uncovered earlier this year is said to involve the use of two poisons – ricin and cyanide – slipped into salad bars and buffets.
Of particular concern: The plotters are believed to be tied to the same terror group that attempted to blow up cargo planes over the east coast in October, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
In online propaganda al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has praised the cargo attack, part of what it called “Operation Hemorrhage.”
The propaganda says in part, “…attacking the enemy with smaller but more frequent operations” to “add a heavy economic burden to an already faltering economy.”
Meanwhile, here comes another alarm:
Attorney General Eric Holder says that the growing number of American citizens joining terrorist groups including Al Qaeda is “one of the things that keeps me up at night.”
“You didn’t worry about this even two years ago — about individuals, about Americans, to the extent that we now do,” Holder said in an interview with ABC News airing Tuesday. “And that is of … of great concern.”
Be afraid of what you eat. Be afraid of your fellow Americans.
Happy Holidays from the US Government!