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Don't Pack a Pest
by Lacy Gray, click here for bio
Program: Food Forethought
Date: June 21, 12
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It’s that time of year. The kids are out of school and families are planning summer vacations. Even with the high cost of gas it’s expected that thousands of families will be hitting the roads for vacation destinations this year. And what do families bring back with them from their summer holiday, why souvenirs of course. Make sure this year though you don’t unknowingly bring unwanted visitors back home with you. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is urging summer travelers to “join the fight against invasive pests by not packing a pest”. Invasive insect species can hitch a ride on fresh produce, plants, processed foods, and hand crafted items. Such unwanted hitchhikers can then become established in states where they can ultimately destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars in eradication efforts. That’s why Customs and Border Protection officers stop vacationers to inspect baggage and vehicles. They’re not out to ruin your vacation fun or memories, they’re just working to safeguard the nation's $157 billion agriculture, fishing and forestry industries. So instead of giving them a hard time, give them a hand. Don’t pack a pest.
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