Los Angeles - U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists prepare for Valentine's Day by inspecting cut flower shipments. Historically, Valentines is the second busiest time for cut flower importations. CBP agriculture specialists inspect flowers to ensure they are free from pests or diseases.
CBP agriculture specialists are the first line of defense against pests and diseases that could harm the U.S. agriculture industry. These pests can seriously damage America's crops, livestock and the environment. If pests or diseases are intercepted, the shipments are treated, re-exported or destroyed.
Valentine's Day is the second busiest season for cut flower imports; Mother's day is the busiest. Last year during this season (Jan 1-Feb. 14); CBP agriculture specialists at Los Angeles International Airport processed over 7.5 million flower stems.
During this period more than 79 pests were intercepted. LAX ranked second in the nation among U.S. ports of entry for the number of cut flower shipments during this season. Miami ranked first.
The top three types of flower shipments during the Valentine's season last year were Roses, mixed bouquets and rose bouquets.
On a typical day in 2009, CBP agriculture specialists seized more than 4,291 prohibited plants, meat and animal byproducts and intercepted 454 agricultural pests that could potentially harm America's agricultural resources.
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.