US & PAKISTAN - US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discovered a Khapra Beetle larvae infestation in a shipment of rice from Pakistan at the port of Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Even though the collected specimens were dead, an Emergency Action Notice was issued to the importer requiring that the 43,000 pound shipment of rice be re-exported or destroyed (the importer chose to re-export the shipment). The Khapra Beetle remains the only insect in which CBP enacts regulatory action even while in a dead state.
For the past several years, Pakistan has increased rice production and sought new export markets, some of which are traditional U.S. markets such as Mexico. In 2010-2012, Pakistan exported negligible amounts of rice to Mexico; however, in the first six months of 2013, Pakistan rice comprised over 23 percent of Mexico's milled rice imports.
In June 2013, Mexico found evidence of the Khapra Beetle in 3,000 MT of Pakistan rice and subsequently removed Pakistan from their list of eligible importers. The ban continues to remain in place for Mexico; Central America also does not permit Pakistan rice imports.
"The Khapra Beetle is considered one of the 100 worst invasive species in the world. It can tolerate numerous insecticides and survive for long periods without food," says Jim Guinn, USA Rice vice president of international promotion. "We applaud CBP for their diligent work in catching contaminated shipments before they can cause harm to our agricultural industry."
TheCropSite News Desk