The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has issued a proposed rule that would amend and republish “the list of selected agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to animal or plant health, or to animal or plant products.” The Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002 requires APHIS to review the list on a biennial basis and submit revisions as necessary.

Among the criteria APHIS considers when determining the status of an agent or toxin are (i) the effects of exposure on animal or plant health and on the “production and marketability” of an animal or plant product, (ii) the pathogenicity of the agent or toxin, (iii) the ability to treat or prevent any illness caused by the agent or toxin, and (iv) any other factors deemed essential for the protection of animal and plant health. The agency requests comments by December 2, 2011. See Federal Register, October 3, 2011.