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CBP on lookout for banned flowers
SAN LUIS, Ariz. — If you shop in Mexico for a Valentine's Day bouquet for your significant other, make sure you can bring the flowers back with you.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection office is reminding the public that U.S. agricultural regulations bar the importation of certain flowers over concerns they harbor pests and diseases.
Among the commonly prohibited flowers are chrysanthemums and gladiolas, along with choisya, an ornamental filler.
People who plan to buy bouquets in Mexico should make sure florists are not including banned flowers in the arrangements, the agency said.
In the days leading up to Valentine's Day on Thursday, CBP agriculture specialists at ports of entry in San Luis, Ariz., and elsewhere on the border will be looking out for prohibited flowers, the CBP said.
“Agriculture specialists are a crucial part of the inspection process for items entering the country,” said Kevin Harriger, executive director for the CBP Agriculture Programs and Trade Liaison office.
“CBP works to identify a relatively small number of harmful pests amongst the millions of stems entering the country, because even a single dangerous pest could cause millions of dollars of damage to our nation's crops.”
Among the pests of concern, CBP said, is chrysanthemum white rust, which, according to the agency, could destroy the U.S. chrysanthemum industry if allowed to become established.
Other pests of concern include Emerald ash borer, the Asian long-horned beetle, citrus canker and the Khapra beetle.
For more information, visit cbp.gov