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Love, Bugs and Other Drugs

February 11, 2011

Miami is a known hot-spot for intercepting illegal imported goods into the nation. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, cut flowers will be passing through Miami and its international airport at an increased rate. WSB-TV Atlanta reported that cut flowers were being used by cocaine traffickers to attempt to sneak the illegal substance into the country. While illegal drugs are of critical concern to the nation, illegal bugs are of significant concern, too. According to WSB-TV’s article, more than 8 out of every 10 cut flowers shipped into the country during Valentine’s Day season come through Miami International Airport, with flowers most commonly originating from Colombia and Ecuador, places from which invasive insects could easily hitch a ride to the United States.

Florida is a sentinel state for invasive pests and diseases, with a new potentially devastating pest or disease entering the state each month on average. When you travel, or decide to purchase products that have to be imported, keep in mind the risks associated with importing invasive pests and diseases. Agricultural inspectors work hard every day to make sure that harmful pests and diseases do not move past our ports, but it is the responsibility of all citizens to protect Florida and the food produced here. Help protect Florida’s agriculture and natural resources: don’t pack a pest!

Click here to read WSB Atlanta’s article, “Valentine Flowers Checked for Bugs, Drugs.”

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