The Dominican Republic Has Sent Termite Infested Fruits To America
Lord knows that the United States is home to a staggering amount of invasive insects, but given the amount of international trade taking place, you would think that invasive insects would be a bigger problem. Luckily US Customs and Border Patrol agents work vigilantly to prevent foreign insects from becoming invasive members of the American ecosystem. There are exotic countries located on the other side of the globe that ship goods to America, and these shipments are all carefully inspected for insects and other foreign pests. However, far away locations are not the most troubling source of invasive insects as far as port authorities in America are concerned. The locations that are most likely to transport invasive insects to America are the locations that are nearest to the US. Shipments arriving in the US from the Caribbean Islands, for example, are closely scrutinized by CBC authorities. Not too long ago a shipment of pineapples from the Dominican Republic arrived in America, and they were surprisingly infested with termites.
During the early part of 2015 the US Government banned the shipment of all fruits from the Dominican Republic. This ban was enacted in response to the threat of medflies that are common in the Dominican Republic. The United States Department of Agriculture is determined to take whatever measures necessary to prevent medflies from wreaking havoc in the US. However, somebody must have broken the law, because only two weeks after the ban was enacted, a shipment of termite infested pineapples arrived at a port in Philadelphia. Shipping inspectors also claimed that other termite infested Dominican fruits and vegetables arrived at a nearby port just five days prior to the pineapple arrival. Both of these shipments contained similar looking termites, and they were promptly sent back to the Dominican Republic. So far, officials from the Caribbean have not commented on the termite infested fruits and vegetables.
Do you think that invasive insects that are native to faraway countries can wind up in local grocery stores in the United States?