Illegal food (US Customs and Border Patrol -with permission)
Illegal food (US Customs and Border Patrol -with permission)

The amount of illegal animal meat products is staggering

Over a million pounds of illegal meats seized over last year

US Customs and Border Patrol are tasked with overseeing all the imports that come into the US, and in Los Angeles-Long Beach, a lot of them end up in the Pacific NW.

 UCBP announced Wednesday that for their fiscal year September, 2021 to October 2022, they seized over a million pounds (1,217.051) of illegal animal food products, many of it coming from China.

According to the UCBP:

"These animal products are not approved for consumption by any U.S regulatory agency. According to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, China is a country affected by African Swine Fever (ASF), Classical Swine Fever (CSF), Newcastle Disease (ND), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Swine Vesicular Disease (SVD)."

These diseases are not harmful to humans, and theoretically, you could eat these products, but they could cause pandemic-like reactions in cattle, poultry, and swine markets in the US if these products were to be allowed entry.

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Some of the contraband arrived in vacuum-packed plastic bags, however, some of the meats were packaged in brand-name wrappers in an effort to fool consumers.

According to UCPB, these importers try to slip these products into the county by placing them in containers with other non-food items:

"Prohibited animal products are often commingled in boxes counterfeit products like headphones, LCD tablets, cell phone covers, wearing apparel, shoes, and accessories, as well as household goods like kitchenware, trash bags, etc."

This is the third year in a row that the port of LA-Long Beach has broken its record for illegal animal meat product confiscations.


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