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Feared Beetle Intercepted Again at LAX by CBP

CBP Discovers Live Larva in Rice

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at Los Angeles International Airport again discover khapra beetle live larva, cast skins and one dead adult in a plastic bag filled with rice coming from Saudi Arabia.
Khapra beetle is one of the world’s most destructive pests of stored grain products which can survive for long periods of time in hot, dry conditions. Infestations can lead to economic loss of valuable grain or other domestic or export products; lowered quality of products due to contamination; costs associated with prevention and treatment; and consumer health risks when exposed to products contaminated with insect parts.
“CBP’s interceptions of khapra beetles involve collaborative efforts with other federal and state agencies to ensure that our homeland’s agriculture industry is safeguarded from destructive pests which could cause significant harm to our economy and health,” said CBP’s Director of Los Angeles Field Office Todd C. Owen.
Samples of the insect and rice were submitted to the local U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist and botanist while the shipment was quarantined and safeguarded. On August 9, its laboratory confirmed the pest’s identity as Dermestidae, Khapra beetle, Trogoderma granarium Everts. An emergency action notification was issued to re-export or destroy the shipment.
Due to an increasing number of khapra beetle detections at U.S. ports of entry in shipments of rice from khapra beetle endemic countries, the United States Department of Agriculture issued a federal quarantine that restricts the importation of rice from those countries (which include Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cyprus, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates) effective July 30.
As of August 12, CBP agriculture specialists have made 124 khapra beetle interceptions at U.S. ports of entry compared to three to six per year in 2005 and 2006, and averaging about 15 per year from 2007 to 2009.

August 17, 2011

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