MIAMI - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) agriculture specialists at Miami International Airport (MIA) seized over 200 propagative seeds arriving in an envelope from Canada on July 9.
Agriculture specialists selected the package for inspection and discovered the small seeds concealed and taped between two pieces of cardboard. Verification was made through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that this shipment was Ipomoea aquatic, a Class A noxious weed, and that it lacked the proper import permit.
According to USDA, Class A noxious weed especially in the states of Florida, California, and Hawaii can be observed growing in the wild, posing an ecological threat by forming dense floating mats of intertwined stems over water surfaces, shading out native submersed plants and competing with native emergent. The shipment was referred to USDA for final disposition.
“Our CBP agriculture specialists work tirelessly to uphold CBP’s agriculture mission," said Miami International Airport Port Director Christopher Maston. "They know what to look for and they know the consequences of intentional or unintentional entry of biological threats into the United States.”
Agriculture specialists protect the United States from the threat of invasive pests and diseases with inspection and prevention efforts designed to keep prohibited agricultural items from entering the United States. These items, whether in commercial cargo or with a person entering the country, could cause serious damage to America's crops, livestock, environment and potentially public health.
To see more CBP activity in Florida, visit @CBPFlorida on Twitter.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.