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US (NY): Customs at JFK discover live larvae among plastic flowers

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists at the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) International Mail Facility (IMF) found some real pests in a shipment of plastic flowers from Kenya.

On May 3, 2023, CBPAS inspected a parcel at the JFK IMF and found 630 live insect larvae concealed within a shipment of artificial flowers from Kenya. The shipment was seized for violating USDA regulations. The shipment was safeguarded under CBPAS supervision to prevent the spread of the pests. To date, almost 28,000 prohibited agriculture items have been seized, and 4,500 pests have been discovered in air cargo by CBPAS at JFK.

“This latest interception highlights the vigilance and dedication to duty that our CBP Agriculture Specialists demonstrate daily. By doing so, they ensure that the United States is safe from harmful pests entering our country that could potentially cause grave damage to our agricultural and economic vitality,” said Francis J. Russo, Director, Field Operations, New York Field Office.

Although many are tiny and seem innocuous, pests can delay global trade and destabilize our national economy and food supply. A single pest can cause millions of dollars in damages.

CBP’s highly trained Agriculture Specialists are the frontline in safeguarding America’s agricultural resources. On a typical day in Fiscal Year 2022, CBP Agriculture Specialists throughout the nation seized 2,677 prohibited plants, meats, animal byproducts, and soils and intercepted 240 insect pests.

Learn more about how CBP Agriculture Specialists protect the United States from dangerous pests and diseases that could affect the county’s economic vitality.


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