Mother’s Day Bouquets Undergo CBP Exam
Agriculture inspections prevent spread of harmful pests, plant disease
HOUSTON – With Mother’s Day occurring this weekend, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport have been especially busy examining flower shipments.
“CBP agriculture specialists are the front line in preventing the introduction of harmful pests and plant diseases into the United States,” said CBP Houston Area Port Director Raymond S. Polley. “The work they perform is vital to protecting our nation’s agriculture and commerce.”
If during an exam, CBP encounters a pest or diseased leaf, a specimen is collected for U.S. Department of Agriculture who will make an identification.
In the Houston and Dallas area, CBP agriculture specialists examined over 7,742,000 cut flowers from October 2017 through May 2018, which is an increase of more than 350,000 flower stems from the same period last year.
Rose stems, mixed bouquets, chrysanthemums, and rose bouquets were the top imported flowers this fiscal year. The top five countries of origin for commercial flower imports are: Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Netherlands and Costa Rica.
On a typical day in fiscal year 2017, CBP agriculture specialists discovered 352 pests at U.S. ports of entry and 4,638 materials for quarantine: plant, meat, animal byproduct and soil.
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.