The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is soliciting public comment on its current list of select agents and toxins with the potential to pose a severe threat to animal or plant health or to animal or plant products. The agency’s biennial review and republication of the list is required under provisions of the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002.
Criteria for determining whether an agent or toxin is placed on the list include the (i) effect of exposure to the agent/toxin on animal or plant health and on the production and marketability of animal or plant products; (ii) pathogenicity of the agent/toxin and the methods of transference to animals or plants; and (iii) availability and effectiveness of pharmacotherapies and prophylaxis to treat and prevent any illness caused by exposure to the agent/ toxin. Comments should be submitted by April 28, 2015. See Federal Register, February 27, 2015.