News & Comment

Chemical and Biological Warfare (I): The Research Program

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  13 Jan 1967:
Vol. 155, Issue 3759, pp. 174-179
DOI: 10.1126/science.155.3759.174


Biological warfare is the intentional use of living organisms or their toxic products to cause death, disability, or damage in man, animals, or plants. The target is man, either by causing his sickness or death, or through limitation of his food supplies or other agricultural resources. Man must wage a continuous fight to maintain and defend himself, his animals, and his plants in competition with insects and microorganisms. The object of BW is to overcome these efforts by deliberately distributing large numbers of organisms of native or foreign origin, or their toxic products, taking full advantage of the ability to utilize more effective methods of dissemination and unusual portals of entry. BW has been aptly described as public health in reverse.—"Effects of Biological Warfare Agents," pamphlet published by Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, July 1959.