Those in Florida who enjoy pineapple may have to choose a different fruit for a while. That is because U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents recently confiscated and destroyed $15,000 worth of the fruit following an inspection at a U.S. port of entry. The agents say their Agriculture Specialist discovered the larvae of a butterfly that is not native to the United States and that may have otherwise caused damage to the ecosystem of the country.
Agents apparently have special training for spotting pests in shipments of fruit and other foods coming from outside the country. This butterfly larvae supposedly belonged to a beautiful but destructive Metalmark, a butterfly species native to Costa Rico, which was the country of origin of the pineapple shipment. Agents proceeded to destroy the entire shipment.
Potential harm to the American public
The CBP screens tens of thousands of containers that pass into the United States from other countries. The most common seizures include weapons, drugs, currency and counterfeit products. Their mission is to protect the country from anything entering or leaving that might cause harm to individuals, businesses and the overall well-being of the nation. This is the first time that agents have discovered this particular insect in a shipment of fruit.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection interception or seizure can be costly to a business. Under some circumstances, these actions may even lead to criminal charges or other legal complications. It is important for U.S. businesses and individuals to know the international laws involving the types of shipments they are dealing with and the countries with which they interact.