International

25,000 kg of Indian cumin seized in U.S. due to beetle infestation

more-in

CBP officials did not discover any live larvae but collected a specimen of the dead larvae and sealed the container.

Nearly 25,000 kg of Indian cumin has been seized in the U.S. after customs agents found it infested with pests, officials here said.

The importer has been issued an Emergency Action Notice requiring the shipment of 55,000 pound of cumin seed to be re-exported, the Baltimore Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said.

During a routine inspection on Monday, CBP officials at the Port of Baltimore discovered that a shipment of cumin seed from India was infested with Khapra beetle larvae.

CBP officials did not discover any live larvae but collected a specimen of the dead larvae and sealed the container.

The specimen was forwarded to a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist who confirmed it as Trogoderma granarium , commonly known as Khapra beetle.

Khapra veetle is considered one of the world’s most destructive insect pests of grains, cereals and stored foods, and it remains the only insect in which CBP takes regulatory action even when its in a dead state.

“Khapra beetle is one of the most invasive insects CBP agriculture specialists encounter,” said Dianna Bowman, CBP Area Port Director for Baltimore.

“And we take our mission to intercept these destructive pests and protect America’s agricultural industry very seriously.” The Khapra beetle is labelled a ‘dirty feeder’ because it damages more grain than it consumes, and because it contaminates grain with body parts and hair.

These contaminants may cause gastrointestinal irritation in adults and especially sickens infants.

Khapra beetles can also tolerate insecticides and fumigants, and can survive for long periods of time without food.

According to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), previous infestations of Khapra beetle have resulted in massive, long-term control and eradication efforts at great cost to the American taxpayer.

California implemented extensive eradication measures following a Khapra Beetle infestation discovered there in 1953.

The effort was deemed successful, but at a cost of approximately $11 million.

Calculated in today’s dollars, that would be about $90 million. — PTI

More In International
Please Wait while comments are loading...
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 21, 2017 12:33:51 AM | http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/25000-kg-of-indian-cumin-seized-in-us/article8396188.ece